Petite Rue au Beurre, Brussels

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 341
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 135 x 99 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 3
Catalogues: K.364; M.363
Impressions taken from this plate  (3)


The plate shows signs of revisions, with faint outlines of figures and details on the building façades that represent earlier ideas -- either lightly etched or etched and then removed. There are also many scattered dots of foul biting. The composition was drawn with care, using long, broken strokes for the main architectural details, shorter lines for details on the figures, shop-windows and roofs, and patches of vertical and diagonal shading emphasizing the structure of the housefront.


Only a few impressions were printed. Three impressions of Petite Rue au Beurre, Brussels have been located. One was printed in brown ink with pale tone on ivory laid paper taken from a book; Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) thought this was the first impression (Graphic with a link to impression #K3640103). Another is also in brown with light tone on ivory laid paper (Graphic with a link to impression #K3640102). All are trimmed to the platemark and signed on the tab with a butterfly and 'imp.' to show that Whistler printed them.