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

The Storm

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 81
Date: 1861
Medium: drypoint
Size: 156 x 286 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower right
Inscribed: '1861.' at lower right
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 36
Catalogues: K.81; M.83; T.74; W.77
Impressions taken from this plate  (36)


Closely-massed diagonal and curved slanting lines, freely drawn in drypoint, suggest rain. Additional drypoint lines filled in and extended the bold shading on the sky and landscape in the second state and finally Whistler added small details like the burr-like plant in the foreground.


The first state of The Storm was printed in black ink on ivory Japan ganpi laid paper (), the second on watermarked ivory laid western paper () and the third - with the burr dramatically emphasized by ink tone - also on ivory paper, possibly laid ().
Most impressions are from the cancelled plate. It was cancelled before 1875 - one cancelled impression, bought by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904), was signed by Whistler about 1874 or 1875 and inscribed 'The Storm - (Ridley)' ().
Impressions were then published in an album of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879. Cancelled impressions are in black ink, usually on watermarked laid paper (, , ).
The plate, despite the cancellation lines and fading drypoint, was either restored or printed with great care so that the cancellation was not obvious. It was re-isued and sold by H. Wunderlich & Co. in a fairly limited edition, probably under twenty, in 1889 (i.e. ).