Home > The Catalogue > Browse > Subjects > Etchings > Etching

The Pool

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 49
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 140 x 217 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower left
Inscribed: '1859.' at lower left
Set/Publication: 'Thames Set', 1871
No. of States: 6
Known impressions: 85
Catalogues: K.43; M.42; T.47; W.41
Impressions taken from this plate  (85)


In the first proof, the figure and boat are etched and the outlines of the background are sketched in drypoint; in addition, there is a grey area of fine, granular tone or foul bite on the man's body, which has the qualities of open bite/lavis.


Over eighty impressions are known. There are single impressions of the first three states; the first state (), and third () have been located, but the second has not. A large edition - two dozen - of the fourth state has been located, printed in black ink on a variety of papers: ivory chine collé (); Japanese (); laid, including one with the watermark of a shield and a crown topped by a crescent (); and wove paper ().
There are at least 30 impressions of the sixth state in public collections. A number are printed in black ink on laid paper with the 'DEDB' or 'De Erven De Blauw' watermark (, , , ). Most in fact are printed in black ink, usually on laid paper, including sheets watermarked or with 'Pro Patria' (), an indecipherable name (), a crown and initials and (), and a crowned griffin (). Others are on Asian papers (, ), including cream Japan () and a translucent Japanese paper ().
About 1862, Whistler recorded either the number of impressions printed, or more likely the number of impressions of some etchings in stock: 'Limehouse 10. / Tunnel pier 2. / Black Lion 8. /Graveur - 2 / Thames Police. 20 / Tyzack 5.' 12

12: [May 1862/1864?], GUW #12745, p. 38.

Several sets of the cancelled plates of the 'Thames Set' were printed, again, in black ink, one on ivory wove paper ().