Home > The Catalogue > Browse > Etching

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)
Irving as Philip of Spain may have been started in late 1876. It is closely related to the oil portrait Arrangement in Black, No. 3: Sir Henry Irving as Philip II of Spain [y187] started in 1876. The drypoint is first mentioned in early 1877. On 28 January 1877 Alan Summerly Cole (1846-1934) wrote in his diary, 'Round to see J. who had begun an etching of Irving'. 1 It was actually a drypoint, not an etching.

1: GUW #03432.

Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) commented: 'It is impossible to say which of the two plates of Philip was etched first. Neither of them was completed, but this one is given priority, as it is a little more rigid than the other and less successful as a portrait.' 2 The 'other' is Irving as Philip of Spain, No. 2 [159].

2: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 170).

Few portraits date from this period, except Sir Garnet Wolseley [177], Whistler with the White Lock [162] and Irving as Philip of Spain, No. 2 [159].