Street at Saverne

Impression: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Number: 14
Date: 1858
Medium: etching and open bite or sandpaper ground
Size: 209 x 159 mm
Signed: 'Whistler' at lower left
Inscribed: 'Imp. Delatre. Rue St. Jacques' at lower right (2-3); erased (4)
Set/Publication: 'French Set', 1858
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 81
Catalogues: K.19; M.19; T.7; W.11
Impressions taken from this plate  (81)


Four states are known before cancellation.

State 1

Impression: K0190202
Signed 'Whistler.' at lower left among the lines shading the street.
The sky is shaded with an open network of horizontal and diagonal lines.
Kennedy described a first state before Whistler's signature in the plate, and referenced an impression without signature in the collection of Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910). 8 He did not reproduce the etching in his catalogue, and no such impression has been located. The first state proof described and illustrated above belonged to Haden and is probably the impression Kennedy saw and incorrectly recorded as unsigned.

8: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 19).

The other known impression of the Glasgow catalogue's first state (Graphic with a link to impression #K0190201), reproduced below, is printed with considerable plate tone, selectively wiped, creating a nocturnal effect quite different from the proof pictured above.
Impression: K0190201

State 2

Impression: K0190302
Inscribed 'Imp. Delatre. Rue St. Jacques' (the 't' in 'St' raised) at lower left.
The sky is reworked with close horizontal lines that extend over the gate or barrier at the end of the street; the new work obscures the top of the gate as well as the cable or rope hanging across the street; light emitted by the lantern is more sharply defined; new horizontals are added to the street in the foreground and new vertical and zigzag lines are added to the wall at lower right.
Inscribed with the printer's address and published in the 'French Set' in the following (third) state.

State 3

Impression: K0190403
The plate signature remains but is difficult to see on most impressions.
Tonal shading is added to the sky through abrasion or light application of acid to the plate; the gate or barrier at the end of the street is redefined and closely shaded; short, fine vertical lines are added to the top of the lantern.
Published in the 'French Set' in this state.

State 4

Impression: K0190502
Delâtre's name and address are removed.
Impressions of this state were printed after publication of the 'French Set', and Kennedy characterised them as 'recent' in 1910. 9

9: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 19).

State 4 (cancelled)

Impression: K0190601
The plate is cancelled by two crossed diagonal lines and four horizontals.