Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 108
Date: 1873/1877
Medium: drypoint
Size: 280 x 190 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 18
Catalogues: K.136; M.134; W.110
Impressions taken from this plate  (18)


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 life time. The only exhibit recorded was after Whistler's death, in the Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905. 9 This was probably one of the two extant impressions (Graphic with a link to impression #K1360102 and Graphic with a link to impression #K1360201).

9: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 110).


Whistler sold one impression to Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890) in 1877 for only £1.1.0. 10 This may well have been the sole known impression of the first state, which was bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) from Obach & Co. in July 1906 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1360102). Freer had already bought an impression of the second state from Obach's in December 1903 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1360202). The second state was signed by Whistler about 1886 presumably when it was sold.

Surviving impressions from the cancelled plate are often in the album as published in 1879. For instance, the British Museum bought an album in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1360306), and Freer bought a set from Knoedler & Co. in 1893 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1360302). Thomas Glen Arthur (1858-1907) also acquired a set in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1360311) which later went to Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Boston Public Library also acquired a set (Graphic with a link to impression #K1360308). A set acquired by J. Littauer, Munich was sold to the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 1896 (Graphic with a link to impression #K1360309).

10: 24 November-8 December 1877, GUW #12742.

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 Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) for £0.6.0. 11 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 #K1360304). 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 #K1360305).

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