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

The Tiny Pool

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 167
Date: 1876/1878
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 99 x 66 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right (2-final)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 22
Catalogues: K.173; M.170; W.73
Impressions taken from this plate  (22)


The original composition was drawn boldly and etched deeply, with details and shading added later in both etching and drypoint. By the final state the drypoint had faded considerably.


The first state was printed in black ink, one impression on ivory Japan paper () and another on ivory laid paper (). No impression of the second state has been located ().
There was a print-run of at least a dozen impressions of the third state. In most of these the butterfly is rather faint, and the drypoint shading is faded (). It is possible that these were printed at the time of Whistler's bankruptcy - or as an attempt to stave off bankruptcy - in 1877/1878. One was printed in black ink on cream laid paper with a Vryheyt watermark, and this is one of the few that can be traced back to Whistler's lifetime (). Of two other impressions that may well be lifetime impressions, one is on ivory laid paper () and the other on cream Japanese paper (). Most were printed on ivory laid paper (i.e. ). However, they may have been printed posthumously.