Home > The Catalogue > Browse > Etching

House of the Swan, Brussels

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 337
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 178 x 66 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower centre
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.363; M.360
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


The plate for House of the Swan, Brussels was executed in pure etching. The subject was drawn with rather fussy short broken lines, capturing the complexity of the architectural details, and creating a decorative and flat composition, but actually lacking precise detail, except in the doorway. There, fine, densely worked cross-hatching created deep shadows and provides a point of focus.


Only two impressions of House of the Swan, Brussels have been located, although sales records suggest more were printed. One was printed in black ink on off-white laid paper with an illegible watermark (Graphic with a link to impression #K3630102). It is trimmed to the platemark on three sides, leaving a wide margin at the bottom, where it is signed with Whistler's butterfly and 'imp' to show that he printed it; however, it would appear that whoever was trimming the print did not complete the job. Another impression was printed in dark brown ink on ivory laid paper (Graphic with a link to impression #K3630103). Again it was not fully trimmed to the platemark.