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Nude woman reclining

Impression: Yale University Art Gallery
Yale University Art Gallery
Number: 92
Date: 1861; 1873/1874
Medium: drypoint
Size: 138 x 211 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower left and, upside down, upper left.
Inscribed: '1861.' at lower left and, upside down, at upper left
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.-; M.-; T.-; W.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)
Nude woman reclining is difficult to date, partly because it is so thoroughly cancelled, and partly because of conflicting evidence. The date '1861' is inscribed twice on the copper plate. It is possible that the head, barely visible through the cancellation marks at upper left, dates from 1861.
It is clear that the plate was used twice, and may indeed have been developed further after 1861. The figure is unlikely to date from as early as 1861. Whistler re-used the copper plate to develop a composition showing a woman reclining on a sofa.
The composition may have been the inspiration for a new etching in the early 1870s, namely The Model Lying Down 110. Both may be related in technique and subject to studies such as Draped Model 109, which dates from 1873/1874.
The cancelled plate was probably among those sold at Whistler's bankruptcy, and may have been considered for publication in a 'Cancelled Set' by the Fine Art Society in 1879, but in the end it was not included in the published set.