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Under the Statue, Luxembourg Gardens

Impression: Whistler Etchings Project
Whistler Etchings Project
Number: 464
Date: 1892/1894
Medium: etching
Size: 162 x 124 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.-; M.-; T.-; W.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)
Etching: PE18_01
Recto, above; verso, below:
Etching: PE18_02
On the verso, the copper plate bears the oval stamp of 'C. SERVANT / PLANEUR / 45, B DES GDS AUGUSTINS' (Boulevard des Grands Augustins). Servant provided ten of Whistler's late copper plates. These included Boulevard Poissonière, Paris 483, Polichinelle, Jardin du Luxembourg 467, Antony's Print Shop, Rue de Seine 477, Café Corazza, Paris 484 and Mme Pelletier, Blanchisserie, Paris 481, all of which were printed in very small editions.
Several other Servant plates, including Under the Statue, Luxembourg Gardens, The Band, Luxembourg Gardens 466, Confections pour Dames 475, Sleeping Child, Ajaccio 488 and Flaming Forge 490, were not printed at all in Whistler's life-time (or at least, no impressions have survived).
The Luxembourg copper plates, although derived from the same maker, are of various sizes. There are three groups.
Under the Statue, Luxembourg Gardens (162 x 124mm) is close in size to Polichinelle, Luxembourg Gardens (122 x 161mm). The Band, Luxembourg Gardens (181 x 152mm) is close to another Paris subject, Blanchisserie (182 x 151mm).
Picture-Shop, Rue de Seine (152 x 192mm) is similar to Sleeping Child, Ajaccio (153 x 190mm) and Flaming Forge (192 x 154mm).
This leaves three copper plates of unique sizes, probably all Paris subjects, Café Corazza, Palais Royal (133 x 221mm), French houses (225 x 130mm), and finally Boulevard Poissonière (159 x 232mm).
The Paris copper plates may have remained in Whistler's Paris studio after he left. Eventually, they were sorted, cleaned and stored by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), under strict instructions from the artist, in 1901:
'In Paris you have some, have you not, in your closets? - and at the atelier I have scarcely ventured to look on the shelves for a long time back! - Make some kind of a note of them - and lock them up - ' 11
The copper plate of Under the Statue, Luxembourg Gardens remained in Whistler's possession until his death, and was bequeathed to Miss Birnie Philip, who gave it to the University of Glasgow in 1935. It was cancelled posthumously with a deep diagonal line across the bottom left corner, and it is now pitted, oxidised, and varnished.