Thames Warehouses

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 46
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 77 x 204 mm
Signed: 'Whistler' at lower right
Inscribed: '1859.' at lower right
Set/Publication: 'Thames Set', 1871
No. of States: 5
Known impressions: 63
Catalogues: K.38; M.37; T.42; W.35
Impressions taken from this plate  (63)
Etching: PK038_01 (plate)
The copper plate for Thames Warehouses is almost exactly the same size (77 x 204 mm) as that for Old Westminster Bridge [47] (76 x 204 mm), which is also dated 1859. These are the two smallest plates in the 'Thames Set', and the most exaggerated in format, the narrow horizontal rectangle emphasizing the shape of the long barge in Thames Warehouses and the bridge in the other composition.
Both plates bear the maker's stamp 'HUGHES & KIMBER / MANUFACTURERS/ RED LION SQUARE / FLEET STREET / LONDON' as do several other plates of 1859. The largest of these is W. Jones, Lime-Burner, Thames Street [55] at 255 x 179 mm, four are about 153 x 229 (Thames Police [53], Black Lion Wharf [54], Venus [60], Arthur Haden [66]) and two 140 x 217 (The Pool [49],Eagle Wharf [50]). This suggests Whistler bought batches of plates in different sizes and selected plates in a format suitable for the subject.
Later, Whistler often chose plates of suitable shape to focus attention on an extreme horizontal or vertical composition, in for instance, Long Venice [211], reproduced below.
Impression: K2120402

When the copper plate of Thames Warehouses was cancelled, impressions from the cancelled plate (including one reproduced below) were printed to prove that the edition was limited.
Impression: K0380302
The plate for Thames Warehouses was acquired with the other copper plates for the 'Thames Set' in 1896 by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), who bequeathed them to the Freer Gallery of Art in 1919. 19

19: Acc. No. 1896.1.