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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)


Three states are known.

State 1

Impression: K1480z02
Signed with a butterfly at lower left.
The composition is complete. The hulls of the boats are pale.

State 2

Impression: K1480204
Strong curved drypoint lines are added on the ships' sterns; the reflections are strengthened and extended; more shading and rigging are added on the distant shipping and warehouses.

State 3

Impression: K1480203
Short diagonal lines shade the sides of the small boat to left of the two ships in the foreground; diagonal and long curving lines shade the bow and stern of the ship in the centre; vertical shading is added on the warehouse at far right; a patch of slightly slanting lines indicates clouds at left.

State 4

Impression: K1480205
More shading is added to the small boat's reflection; light vertical shading is added above the dark part of the hull, on the stern of the ship to right.

State 5

Impression: K1480306
Neat vertical shading is added on the upper part of each stern, and additional diagonal shading below; the vertical shading above the dark area on the hull at right has been removed or faded; the reflections between and in front of the ships are darkened and extended; the stern and sides of the small boat at left are strongly outlined and more shading is added; another warehouse is added at right behind the existing one; the ghostly remains of a mast and rigging at left are removed and replaced by a barge in mid-stream with half-furled sails; the foul biting in the bottom right corner is removed.