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The Doorway

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 193
Date: 1879/1880
Medium: etching, drypoint and roulette
Size: 295 x 204 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'First Venice Set', 1880
No. of States: 20
Known impressions: 66
Catalogues: K.188; M.185; W.154
Impressions taken from this plate  (66)


Twenty states are known before cancellation.

State 1

Etching: K1880103
Signed with a butterfly above the arch of the window at left.
Most details of the composition are present; the face of the girl on the step is shown in profile, she wears a headscarf over her dark hair and dips a piece of cloth in the water; the reflections on the water are etched.

State 2

Etching: K1880102
The face of the girl on the step is now shown in three-quarter view, her headscarf is altered and her hair is not visible; the silhouette of the seated man in the background to left of the girl's head is distinct.
The only proof known in this state, illustrated here, is lightly inked - particularly at the centre - making lines appear less strong than they are in actuality.

State 3

Etching: K1880202
With many drypoint additions, most notably on the squares among the central doorway grillework, on the interior wall and around the chairs hanging from the ceiling, on and around the face and figure of the standing woman in the doorway, on the steps, on the legs and skirt of the girl on the step and to the reflections on the water; a number of prominent scratches are visible near the lower edge, including a small dark patch to left of centre.

State 4

Etching: K1880310
The girl on the step now faces forward, with shoulders turned toward the viewer and arms at her sides, and she no longer holds a piece of cloth; the seated man in the background to left of the girl's head is now indistinct; the height of the woman standing in the doorway is reduced to the level of the windows in the background; touches of new shading are added within the doorway; extensive roulette work is added to the reflection in the water.

State 5

Etching: K1880303
Fine shading just to left of the girl's head is partly scraped out; prominent scratches near the lower edge are removed.

State 6

Etching: K1880304
The figure of the woman standing in the doorway and the details of her bodice are altered; her shoulders are wider and her dress less clearly defined.

State 7

Etching: K1880302
There is new work on the bodice of the woman standing in the doorway and the shading around her; she now appears to rest her chin on her left hand and forearm; the silhouette of the seated man in the background to left of the girl's head is once again distinct.

State 8

Etching: K1880403
With new drypoint shading below the hem of the girl's skirt; a new small, dark patch of reflection is added on the water below the left edge of the doorway; there are new dark patches of reflection below the girl, one short and horizontal below her foot and the other larger and angular below her skirt.

State 9

Etching: K1880402
Granular grey tone is added over and beneath the grille of the window at right and on the door and right side of the door frame; a number of acid droplets appear near the right edge, to right of the new tonal work; new shading is added on the risers of the steps just to left of the girl's skirt.
Details within the doorway vary in clarity depending on the inking and wiping of the plate.

State 10

Etching: K1880709
Slight alterations to the girl on the step include the shape of her head and delineation of her facial features, a dark line across the top of her head, reduced shading on the bodice of her dress; new shading is added to right of her skirt, reducing its fullness; four curving diagonal drypoint lines appear on the water below the girl's feet; new drypoint shading around the woman in the doorway reduces the width of her shoulders and torso.

State 11

Etching: K1880511
New vertical shading is added along the risers of the steps, immediately to left of the girl, and new vertical shading on her left shoulder; the girl's skirt is not clearly defined at the back but appears fuller, and there is a stronger vertical line behind her, delineating the side of the doorway.

State 12

Etching: K1880510
Short horizontal drypoint lines are added along the left side of the girl's brow and hair; there is a new short, curving drypoint line on the girl's hip at right.

State 13

Etching: K1880607
The facial features of the girl on the step are more clearly defined and her eyes are downcast; new drypoint shading is added to her left, most notably on the two top sets inside the doorway; the woman in the doorway now has a rounded head and appears to wear a hat; the woman's shoulders and arms are redrawn, and her right forearm and wrist are now visible; new shading covers the woman's skirt and the area above the bending girl.

State 14

Etching: K1880602
New, darker shading is added to the basket on the landing beside the girl.
Details within the doorway, including the room's interior and the woman's figure and costume, vary in clarity according to the inking and wiping of the plate.
The impression illustrated has patches of glue residue at upper centre and upper right, which appear white on the digital image.

State 15

Etching: K1880611
The outlines of the girl's head and her right arm and shoulder are slightly changed, her facial features are altered, and her eyes are no longer downcast; fine curving lines are added to her skirt.

State 16

Etching: K1880604
The girl on the step is scraped out and replaced with a new figure, lightly sketched.

State 17

Etching: K1880612
The girl and the basket on the landing are scraped out leaving a large white space.

State 18

Etching: K1880707
A new girl is added on the step, dipping a narrow length of fabric in the water; a new basket is sketched further back on the landing; many new lines, indicating reflections, are added to the water below the doorway; new vertical and diagonal lines create shadows in the near foreground.

State 19

Etching: K1880708
The girl on the step is completely redrawn, smaller than in earlier versions and wearing a cap rather than a headscarf; the fabric she dips in the water is now narrower between her hand and the water; a new, smaller basket appears, lightly sketched, immediately to left of the girl's hand; fine vertical lines are added on the water to left of the doorway, just below the building and above the dark shading in the foreground; many fine drypoint lines enlarge and darken the reflection just below the steps; fine vertical and left to right diagonal lines (\\\) are added on the water to right of the doorway.

State 20

Etching: K1880711
Fine, slightly curving vertical drypoint lines are added to the shading on the water at lower left and lower right.
The last impressions of this state were printed in 1903 by Frederick Goulding (1842-1909), and are printed with dark plate tone.

State 20 (cancelled)

Etching: PS_K188_01
Cancelled with three diagonal lines and an additional short diagonal scratch.

No impression from the cancelled plate is known. This is a digital image based on the copper plate. 10

10: A scan of the copper plate was flipped horizontally, converted to greyscale, and colour inverted, with enhanced contrast.