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Westminster Bridge in Progress

Impression: Colby College Museum of Art, Maine
Colby College Museum of Art, Maine
Number: 77
Date: 1861
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 150 x 352 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower right
Inscribed: '1861.'
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.72; M.74; W.70
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


Whistler began work on this copper plate in etching and then made numerous drypoint additions: the leaning figure at left, the rail behind him and bollard in front of him; the head and shoulders at lower right; the small segment of a view through the construction to the right of the leaning figure; the prow of a boat and figures above it to the left of centre under the construction; and fine curving diagonals on the sky at right. At that point, he left the plate unfinished.


This is a very rare etching. Only two impressions have been located (, ). Both known impressions are on 'antique' (pre-1800) laid paper. One is in black ink on ivory paper with a 'PRO PATRIA' watermark (), the other in dark brown ink on a slightly irregular sheet of dark cream 'antique' paper (). Both are good impressions with fine detail, but show a pronounced area of foul biting along the lower edge of the copper plate, mostly to right of centre.