The Unsafe Tenement

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 18
Date: 1858
Medium: etching
Size: 158 x 226 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower right
Inscribed: 'Imp. Delatre. Rue St. Jacques. 171.' at lower left (2-3); erased (4)
Set/Publication: 'French Set', 1858
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 76
Catalogues: K.17; M.17; T.5; W.7
Impressions taken from this plate  (76)


Four states are known.

State 1

Impression: K0170102
Signed 'Whistler.' (the 's' reversed) at lower right.
A woman with a broom is sweeping the yard in the left foreground, to the right of the sleeping dog; a few lines indicate clouds in the sky.

State 2

Impression: K0170206
Inscribed 'Imp Delatre. Rue St. Jacques. 171.' (the 't' in 'St' raised) at lower left.
The sweeping woman is removed and replaced by an open doorway, and a pitchfork leaning against a wall; distinct horizontal lines are added throughout the sky.
Published in the 'French Set' in this and the following state.

State 3

Impression: K0170305
The sky has been largely removed, but some faint lines are still visible.
Published in the 'French Set' in this and the preceding state.

State 4

Impression: K0170402
Delâtre's name and address are removed.
The tips of the copper plate corners were clipped off, so the platemark corners are blunt diagonals.