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Portrait of a man

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 73
Date: 1860
Medium: drypoint
Size: 229 x 154 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower left
Inscribed: '1860.'
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 30
Catalogues: K.63; M.63; T.72; W.58
Impressions taken from this plate  (30)
Etching: PK063_01 (plate)
Recto, above; verso, below:
Etching: PK063_02 (plate)
The copper plate bears the rectangular stamp of 'HUGHES & KIMBER / MANUFACTURERS/ RED LION SQUARE / FLEET STREET / LONDON'. The same stamp appears on three London plates of 1859 of the same size, Thames Police [53], Stevens' Boat Yard [56], Black Lion Wharf [54] and several portraits, all of 1859-1860 (Z. Astruc, Editor of 'L'Artiste' [36], Whistler with a hat [44], Fumette's Bent Head [58], Venus [60], Arthur Haden [66], Axenfeld [68] and Riault (The Wood Engraver) [69]).
In 1872 an exhibition at the opening of the Guildhall Library and Museum of engraved portraits from the collection of James Anderson Rose (1819-1890) included portraits by Whistler, described as 'Nine portraits etched in copper - very rare - plates destroyed'. 28 Candidates for these nine portraits include Auguste Delâtre, Printer [28], Whistler with a hat [44], C. L. Drouet, Sculptor [35], Finette [61], Z. Astruc, Editor of 'L'Artiste' [36], Arthur Haden [66], Mr Mann [73], Riault (The Wood Engraver) [69] and Axenfeld [68]. Other possibilities include Greenwich Pensioner [40], Bibi Valentin [34], Bibi Lalouette [33] and Fumette standing [59].

28: Cat. nos. 960-68.

The copper plate was cancelled with crossed diagonal and zig-zag lines, particularly over the face. The plate was certainly cancelled by 1879 and was probably among plates bought at Whistler's bankruptcy sale by the Fine Art Society, London. It was published in an album of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879.
The plate was probably among those acquired from Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851), by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) in exchange for lithographs. 29 The plate was given by Miss Birnie Philip to the University of Glasgow in 1935.

29: Note by R. Birnie Philip, inserted in the album, Hunterian Art Gallery.