Portrait sketches including F.R. Leyland and Whistler

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 122
Date: 1874/1875
Medium: drypoint
Size: 305 x 178 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 17
Catalogues: K.101; M.102
Impressions taken from this plate  (17)


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


It was not exhibited in Whistler's lifetime. An impression was, however, shown at the Whistler Memorial exhibition in London in 1905. 4

4: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 388).


Surviving impressions are almost all from, or still in, albums of cancelled impressions. For instance, the British Museum bought an album in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1010206), and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), bought a set in 1893 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1010202).
Early owners included George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909) (Graphic with a link to impression #K1010205). Thomas Glen Arthur (1858-1907) acquired a set in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1010212) which later went to Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Boston Public Library also acquired a set (Graphic with a link to impression #K1010209). Finally, a set acquired by J. Littauer, Munich was sold to the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 1896 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1010204).
Prices were low but collectors and collections were keen to have the set of cancelled etchings, as a record of a substantial number of otherwise unrecorded etchings and drypoints. A set, probably acquired from the Fine Art Society by Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892), was auctioned in 1889 and bought by the London print dealer Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) for £0.6.0. 5 Dunthorne exchanged it for other works with Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) who bequeathed it to the University of Glasgow (see Graphic with a link to impression #K1010204). She acquired another set, trimmed the impressions and stuck them on the envelopes containing the copper plates (i.e. Graphic with a link to impression #K1010203).

5: Sotheby's, London, 13 December 1889 (lot 787 or 789).