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Thames Warehouses

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 46
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 77 x 204 mm
Signed: 'Whistler' at lower right
Inscribed: '1859.' at lower right
Set/Publication: 'Thames Set', 1871
No. of States: 5
Known impressions: 63
Catalogues: K.38; M.37; T.42; W.35
Impressions taken from this plate  (63)


The earliest impression located shows obvious burnishing marks at right, implying that there was an earlier version of the composition.
It is difficult to tell whether the fine lines at left that appear to be drypoint (lines in the water and possibly the standing figure in the boat) are simply partly scraped out etched lines - there is clear evidence of scraping around them.
The tonal work (sand or salt grain or open bite) on the foreground boat shows evidence of stopping out or burnishing to create contrasting white areas; the barge behind it has areas of regular dots that resemble softground as well as a patch of burnishing or stopping-out. The area around and on the boat in the foreground has probably been treated either with a fabric in soft ground, or with a fabric taking off hard ground, resulting in a fine fabric texture effect.


Over sixty impressions are known, half being of the fourth, published, state. The first state is printed in black ink on a startling shade of tan chine chine appliqué, mounted on thick cream wove paper (), and the second on tan Asian laid paper () and heavy-weight ivory wove paper (). Most impressions are printed in black ink, mostly on laid paper, including a heavy weight sheet of ivory paper (), and watermarked papers - a crowned shield () and Strasbourg Lily (), as well as on ivory laid Japan ().
It was printed for the 'Thames Set' in the fourth state. One in black ink on off-white medium-weight laid paper was owned - and possibly printed - by Frederick Goulding (1842-1909) (). All are in black ink, mostly on laid paper, with a variety of watermarks including 'J. Bouchet' (), a crowned griffin over 'P' () and (by far the majority) 'DEDB' (De Erven de Blauw) (i.e. , , ). A few are on Japanese paper ().