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The Little Forge, Liverpool

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 141
Date: 1875
Medium: drypoint
Size: 228 x 152 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left (8); removed (9); butterfly at lower left (10-final)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 16
Known impressions: 19
Catalogues: K.147; M.145; W.115
Impressions taken from this plate  (19)


blacksmith, forge, furnace, interior, people, window, worker .


There are very few variations in the title, as follows:

'The little forge - / Liverpool' (1875/1879, Whistler). 1
'The little Forge' (1878, Whistler). 2
'The Little Forge' (1879, Grosvenor Gallery). 3
'The Little Forge' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 4
'Forge - (The Little) - Liverpool (near[)].' (1890/1892, Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896)). 5

'The Little Forge' is the generally recognised title, and the addition of the place name appears to be authorised by Whistler's own records, so that the title becomes 'The Little Forge, Liverpool'.

1: Written on .

2: 9 August 1878, GUW #07998.

3: London Grosvenor 1879 (cat. no. 269).

4: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 115).

5: List, [1890/1892], GUW #12715.


The interior of a forge. In the lower right foreground, a smith bends over an anvil; two men stand near a furnace in the background; another man is seated at a bench at the left, near an open window. A landscape with trees is visible through the window at upper left. In the background at the extreme right is a seated figure. Beams at right angles to a long cross-piece support the roof.


Probably at Speke, on the outskirts of Liverpool in north-east England.


Whistler drew and etched forges at several places during his career - possibly because they provided a warm and sheltered environment, as well as complex light and shade and men at work.