Fumette's Bent Head

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 58
Date: 1859
Medium: drypoint
Size: 229 x 154 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower left (2)
Inscribed: '1859.' at lower left (2)
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 20
Catalogues: K.57; M.57; T.70; W.51
Impressions taken from this plate  (20)


It was published in an album of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879.


Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) lent an impression of the first state, described in the catalogue as 'Trial proof. Rare', to the Union League Club in New York in 1881 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0570104). 7

An impression was also shown at the Glasgow International Exhibition in 1888, lent by Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924). 8 Other impressions were exhibited by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0570102), which was bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), and 1903. 9

After Whistler's death, one was shown at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent an impression to the Boston exhibition in the same year, and Messrs Ernest Brown & Phillips lent an impression from the cancelled plate to the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905. 10

7: New York 1881 (cat. no. 72); see REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

8: Glasgow 1888 (cat. no. 2552-15)

9: New York 1898 (cat. no. 48).

10: New York 1904a (cat. no. 53); Boston 1904 (cat. no. 45); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 51).


Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) owned an impression, probably bought in the mid-1870s (Graphic with a link to impression #K0570104) which went with his collection to New York Public Library. Another early impression was acquired by Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), and sold in 1898 through H. Wunderlich & Co. to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0570102) who also bought a cancelled set (Graphic with a link to impression #K0570301); these were bequeathed to the Freer Gallery of Art.

At auction one impression was sold for an exceptionally high price. In 1887 an impression from the collection of John W. Wilson (dates unknown), described as 'Portrait of a young Lady with long flowing hair, looking to the front' with a 'slight sketch of the artist in wide awake [hat] at the foot, signed by the artist, brilliant impression on Japanese paper' was bought by Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892) for £32.0.0! 11 Unfortunately this has not been identified.

Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) owned an impression that was sold through A. A. Hahlo & Co., New York, to Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937), and was later given by Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971) to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (Graphic with a link to impression #K0570103). Cancelled sets went to several collections including the British Museum in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0570305) and the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, 1896 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0570308).

11: Sotheby's, 23 April 1887 (lot 408).