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Sketching, No. 2

Impression: Private collection
Private collection
Number: 84
Date: 1861
Medium: etching
Size: 118 x 164 mm
Signed: 'Whistler' at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.87; M.85
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)


artist, fisherman, landscape, punt, sketching, tree.


There is no record of Whistler's own title. Two possible titles are recorded, as follows:

'A River Sketch' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 1
'Sketching, No. 2' (1910, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 2

Kennedy numbered the etching as 'Sketching, No. 2', relating it to Sketching 083, which was probably etched at the same time. He also used the title in Wunderlich's stock book of 1903. 3

1: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 85).

2: Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 87).

3: Colby College, Maine


In the left foreground a man wearing a cap with a visor or eyeshade is sitting on the ground sketching. Behind him water pours over a weir into a broad river, and at left there are large wooden timbers supporting a jetty or forming part of the weir. The river curves from the right foreground into the middle distance and disappears behind the left bank in the distance. There are several small punts moored or being rowed on the river; a man in the nearest punt is standing fishing. The men are wearing top hats. The river banks are lined with trees, and in the distance, buildings. At the extreme right is a church or hall with a belfry. The sky is cloudy.


It is likely to be in the area of Sunbury-on-Thames, where Whistler visited Edwin Edwards (1823-1879). It is closely related in subject and style to The Punt 082 and Sketching 083. Lochnan points out:
'Mansfield, who may have had an opportunity to consult Haden or Mrs Edwards on the order of these plates, interspersed The Punt and Landscape with Fisherman with plates which appear to have been made at Sunbury. His order is as follows: Encamping, M. 82, The Storm M. 83, Landscape with Fisherman, M. 84, Sketching No. 2, M. 85, The Punt, M. 86, and Sketching No. 1, M. 87. It is not possible to say that any of these plates with the exception of Encamping was made at Sunbury, but it seems very likely that they were.' 4