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The Two Ships

Impression: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Number: 143
Date: 1875
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 207 x 133 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: Fine Art Society
No. of States: 5
Known impressions: 17
Catalogues: K.148; M.146; W.116
Impressions taken from this plate  (17)
The Two Ships probably dates from 1875. The form of Whistler's butterfly monogram suggests the date.
Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921), and later, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), confirmed that the etching dates from 1875. 1 It was also listed by Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896), probably using Wedmore's catalogue as the basis, as 'Ships - Two, - 1875'. 2

Related subjects of this date are The Little Forge, Liverpool [141], done in Liverpool, and Steamboats off the Tower [156], Battersea: Early Morning [157] and Steamboat Fleet, Chelsea [155], done in London.

An early impression of The Two Ships in New York Public Library is inscribed in an unknown hand '1873' (Graphic with a link to impression #K1480205), but this is incorrect.

1: Wedmore 1886 A (cat. no.116); Mansfield 1909 (cat. no.146).

2: B. Whistler, [1890/1892], GUW #12715.