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La Mère Gérard

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 24
Date: 1858
Medium: etching
Size: 129 x 90 mm
Signed: 'Whistler - ' at lower left (2-final)
Inscribed: 'Imp. Delatre. Rue St. Jacques. 171.' at lower centre (4)
Set/Publication: 'French Set', 1858
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 53
Catalogues: K.11; M.13; T.6; W.9
Impressions taken from this plate  (53)


Four states are known.

State 1

Etching: K0110103
Signed 'Whistler' at lower left.
The composition is complete. Shading around the figure consists only of zigzag lines between the feet and at lower right.
Whistler scraped his etched signature from the paper and added graphite pencil inscriptions to the other known impression of the first state ().

State 2

Etching: K0110202
Heavier shading is added on all the woman's clothing, with the exception of her right sleeve and hat; the bands of tartan at lower left on her apron or pocket are widened, and a chequered pattern is added on the cloth - possibly a shawl- she holds in her left hand; light shading is added at lower left, above the signature, and a heavier network of shading at right extends from the woman's foot to her brow.

State 3

Etching: K0110303
Left to right diagonal shading (\\\) is added to the left side of the cape; the cloth or shawl in the woman's left hand is paler and larger and falls to the ground in wider folds; the horizontal shading at left extends above the woman's wrist; the shading at right has been redrawn to conform to the shape of the figure, and includes a darker, distinctly outlined cast shadow; lines have been added, then partly scraped or burnished out, and new, wide-spaced criss-crossed lines are added on the wall; a few lines are added on the pavement; there is a narrow band of long, irregular, diagonal lines across the upper left corner, and a narrow band of shorter irregular diagonal lines, like scratches, close to the upper right corner.

State 4

Etching: K0110402
Inscribed ‘Imp. Delatre. Rue St. Jacques. 171.’ (the 't' in 'St' raised and the 'J' reversed) at lower centre.
Pronounced foul biting around the inscription is visible on some impressions (see ).
Published in the ‘French Set’ in this state.