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Wapping - The Pool

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 180
Date: 1878/1879
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 189 x 279 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left (4-final)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 8
Known impressions: 14
Catalogues: K.174; M.171; W.143
Impressions taken from this plate  (14)


It is mainly etching, with extensive drypoint additions in later states, darkening the ships, adding shadows (suggesting strong sunlight) on the houses and barges, and defining details on the ships and rigging, and delicate additions to the clouds, which then faded and were reinforced, coming and going like passing clouds!


The first state was printed in black ink on cream Japanese laid paper (). This was followed by later states on various papers with a majority on watermarked papers: the second state was on ivory laid paper watermarked with a Strasbourg Lily over 'WR' (), the third and fourth on cream laid watermarked 'Pro Patria' (, ). Other impressions are on ivory laid Strasbourg Lily paper (, ), ivory laid from a book with an 'MI' or 'IM' countermark (), (), and cream laid paper with Arms of Amsterdam watermark (). Although most were on western papers, one sixth state is on heavy ivory Asian laid paper ().
Whistler's care in developing and maintaining the plate and selecting papers suggest that he considered this an important - and saleable - image.