Irving as Philip of Spain, No. 1

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 158
Date: 1876/1877
Medium: drypoint
Size: 228 x 153 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 6
Catalogues: K.170; M.167; W.139
Impressions taken from this plate  (6)


Bold patches of drypoint shading fill the background, and smaller patches suggest strong lighting on the costume. The outlines are repeated many times and broken lines indicate details. The hands and feet are not finished. The proofs were very roughly wiped, and look dramatic, with dark areas of surface ink around the figure, and rich burr on the shading. The edges of the proofs are marked by foul biting and finger prints.


Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought the sole known impression of the first state (Graphic with a link to impression #K1700102). It was printed in black ink on ivory laid paper with the De Erven De Blauw watermark. Only one impression of the second state has been located (Graphic with a link to impression #K1700202). Also in black, this is on watermarked cream laid paper. Unfortunately no impressions of the third or fourth state have been found (Graphic with a link to impression #K1700301) and indeed the fourth state is known only from the cancelled plate.
There is a single impression from the cancelled plate, showing that the drypoint lines still printed with some burr, but the burr was uneven (Graphic with a link to impression #K1700403). It was printed in black ink on cream wove paper. It is possible that the Fine Art Society intended to include it in the set of cancelled plates published in 1879, but rejected it in favour of Irving as Philip of Spain, No. 2 [159], which was further developed.