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The Kitchen

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 16
Date: 1858
Medium: etching
Size: 227 x 157 mm
Signed: 'Whistler' at lower right
Inscribed: 'Imp. Delatre. Rue St. Jacques. 171.' at lower right (2); partly removed (3)
Set/Publication: 'French Set', 1858; Fine Art Society, 1885 (3)
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 67
Catalogues: K.24; M.24; T.13; W.19
Impressions taken from this plate  (67)


Three states are recorded before cancellation.

State 1

Not reproduced.
Signed 'Whistler' at lower right.
Kennedy described, but did not illustrate, a first state of The Kitchen in the collection of George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914). 7 The Whistler Etchings Project has not located that impression -- or any other example before the addition of Delātre's address, and The Kitchen was not included in the sale of Vanderbilt's Whistler etchings and lithographs in 1974. 8 While it is quite possible that the print had been sold or given away earlier (Vanderbilt died in 1914), there also is a possibility that Kennedy was incorrect about the existence of this first state.

7: Kennedy 1910[more] ( 24 state 1).

8: See Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc., Old Master Prints and Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Prints, New York, 14-16 May 1974, pp. 65-93.

State 2

Etching: K0240203
Inscribed 'Imp. Delatre. Rue St. [superscript 't'] Jacques. 171.' at lower right.
Published in the 'French Set' in this state.

State 3

Etching: K0240302
The Delātre inscription is worn or partly removed.
A series of right to left diagonal lines (///) is added to the beam at the top, from the centre to the right; very fine parallel shading is added to many parts of the image, most notably on the cupboard and wall to the left of the woman, on the wall to the left of the plate rack and on the floor at lower left in the foreground.
Published by the Fine Art Society in this state.
Many examples in the third state are printed with plate tone, darkening the walls, ceiling and floor. As a result, the plate signature and remnants of Delātre's address are difficult to read on some impressions, as in the impression reproduced below:
Etching: K0240306

State 3 (cancelled)

Etching: K0240404
Cancelled with many crossed drypoint lines.