The Barrow - Quartier des Marolles, Brussels
|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||128 x 178 mm|
|Signed:||butterfly at right|
|No. of States:||8|
|Catalogues:||K.357; M.356; W.253|
|Impressions taken from this plate (17)|
This was conceived as an etching, but it was considerably refined by patches of drypoint shading and cross-hatching and then more etched shading, which gradually over many states became soft, velvety deep shadows as some lines broke down. The children were sketched with broken, hooked and wriggly lines, suggesting movement, while the background figures barely emerge from patches of shading.
There may have been a print-run of about twenty impressions. Whistler himself retained proofs of several states (, , , , , , ). One impression inscribed '1st. State.' was printed in black ink on cream laid paper () and another, with a similar inscription, in dark brown ink on similar paper (). At least half the impressions are in the seventh state (i.e. , , ) with only one known impression of the final, eigth state ().
All are trimmed to the platemark and signed on a tab with Whistler's butterfly and 'imp.' to show that he had printed them.