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Greenwich Pensioner

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 40
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 99 x 136 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower right
Inscribed: 'Greenwich - 1859.' at lower right
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 34
Catalogues: K.34; M.33; T.15; W.32
Impressions taken from this plate  (34)


It is in both etching and drypoint. Bold jagged and zig-zag lines indicate the landscape and the man's clothes; lighter, delicate cross-hatching was added on the face and some details of the clothes. The horizontal shading added in the second state provided a slightly muted boundary to the landscape, as did the foul biting at the corners, which could easily have been removed.


A proof of the first state was printed in black ink on heavy-weight off-white wove paper ().
Most impressions are of the second state. It was usually printed in black ink, the first state Later impressions are on a variety of papers including, for instance, off-white wove paper (); ivory () and cream (, ) Japanese laid paper; ivory laid western watermarked paper () and thick, soft, ivory laid paper ().
There may have been a print-run of about twenty for the 'Cancelled Set' (i.e. , ). Impressions are in black ink, one on heavy-weight off-white wove paper (), and most on laid paper, one being on a 'modern' (post-1800) laid paper with the partial watermark of a Strasbourg Lily in a shield over 'WGL' (), another on ivory laid (), and one on cream laid paper with a partial Van Gelder watermark ().