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Impression: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Number: 70
Date: 1860
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 278 x 203 mm
Signed: 'Whistler' at lower left
Inscribed: '1860.' at lower left
Set/Publication: 'Thames Set', 1871
No. of States: 6
Known impressions: 118
Catalogues: K.66; M.66; T.41; W.60
Impressions taken from this plate  (118)


In a worked proof of the second state, the blank areas on the stern of the boat seen between the man were filled in with wash (), and it was this area that was completed in the third state of the etching. A superb early proof on Japan () is printed in black with strong burr on the figures and the pillar, contrasting with the finest possible drypoint lines between the masts in the centre of the river area. By the second state, the plate already showed a certain amount of pitting and minor foul biting. The drypoint shading was reinforced in later states and it was printed carefully to bring out the remaining effect of the drypoint burr (see , , ), and was still in good condition when cancelled (see ).


This is an important etching - a landmark in Whistler's career - and over 100 impressions are recorded.
It was printed in black ink - sometimes a warm black that appears dark brown on certain papers - and on a variety of papers. The first state was printed in black ink on off-white wove paper (). Warm-coloured black ink is seen on an early proof on cream laid paper (); it is inscribed 'Rotherhithe Trial Proof' in an unknown hand, and was returned to Whistler years later and signed on the mount with his butterfly, about 1888/1890 .
Some fine impressions were printed on Japanese paper (i.e. , , , , ). One is on a lightweight Asian paper with vertical laid lines, possibly a proofing paper (). Some impressions are on wove papers are rare; one impression, for instance, is on a heavy-weight wove paper of the sort usually used as a support for light-weight Asian papers ().
Most impressions of the edition as published in the 'Thames Set' are in the sixth state on laid paper, often with a DEDB (DE ERVEN DE BLAUW) watermark (, ) and beehive (, , ) and one, with a Strasbourg Lily watermark ().