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Nursemaid and Child

Impression: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Number: 42
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 99 x 134 mm
Signed: 'Whistler' at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 35
Catalogues: K.37; M.36; T.21; W.34
Impressions taken from this plate  (35)


The composition is etched, but drypoint enhances the richness of the child's cloak and hair and the woman's ribbons.


'Near Holloway - 1st State -' was written by Whistler on one impression (). Most impressions were printed in black ink, on a variety of papers, including ivory 'antique' (pre-1800) laid paper, sometimes darkened to buff, with the watermark of a hunting/post horn on a shield (, , ); ivory 'antique' laid from a book, with binding indents (); cream 'modern' laid (); off-white 'modern' laid with Strasbourg Lily watermark (); dark cream laid watermarked '1802' () and cream wove paper (). One impression appears to be in dark brown rather than black ink, on ivory 'antique' laid paper ().
Several are in black ink on Asian paper including cream gasenshi Japanese 'laid' paper (); and ivory and cream Japanese 'laid' (, , ).
The plate was steel-faced and it is probable that it was printed either in the 1890s or after Whistler's death.