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The Two Ships

Impression: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Number: 143
Date: 1875
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 207 x 133 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: Fine Art Society
No. of States: 5
Known impressions: 17
Catalogues: K.148; M.146; W.116
Impressions taken from this plate  (17)
The Two Ships probably dates from 1875. The form of Whistler's butterfly monogram suggests the date.
Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921), and later, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), confirmed that the etching dates from 1875. 1 It was also listed by Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896), probably using Wedmore's catalogue as the basis, as 'Ships - Two, - 1875'. 2

Related subjects of this date are The Little Forge, Liverpool 141, done in Liverpool, and Steamboats off the Tower 156, Battersea: Early Morning 157 and Steamboat Fleet, Chelsea 155, done in London.

An early impression of The Two Ships in New York Public Library is inscribed in an unknown hand '1873' (), but this is incorrect.

1: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no.116); Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no.146).

2: B. Whistler, [1890/1892], GUW #12715.