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Long Lagoon

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 215
Date: 1879/1880
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 154 x 228 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left (2)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Second Venice Set', 1886
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 40
Catalogues: K.203; M.200; W.169
Impressions taken from this plate  (40)


Long Lagoon is an etching, and only the butterfly signature - added in the second state - is in drypoint.


Two impressions appear to be numbered, the '1st. Proof.' printed in black ink on laid paper - possibly Dutch - () and 'No.4' printed in dark brown ink, on 'antique' (pre-1800) laid paper with the watermark of a posthorn on a shield over 'WR' (). Other impressions of the first state that can definitely be dated to 1880 or 1881 were printed in black ink on ivory laid paper () and in dark brown ink on ivory laid paper (). These impressions pre-date the 'Second Venice Set'.
Long Lagoon was published by Messrs Dowdeswell and Thibaudeau with the Twenty-six Etchings ( 'Second Venice Set') in 1886. One impression was printed for Dowdeswell's by Émile Frédéric Salmon (1840-1913) in black ink on light buff fine light-weight paper (now laid down on card) (). However, Whistler then decided to print the edition himself. A record of impressions for the edition lists nine delivered on 22 July, sixteen on 29 September, and seventeen on 2 October 1886, a total of 42. 7

7: Whistler to W. Dowdeswell, GUW #08717.

Other first state impressions, most dating from the publication of the 'Second Venice Set' in 1886, were printed in black (, ) or brown () ink on 'antique' laid paper with 'WW' countermark. Several are printed in black ink, on ivory laid with 'RK' countermark () or with a Hunting horn and shield watermark (); on light-weight cream laid with the watermark of a shield over 'W' (); and on ivory Asian laid (). Several - of similar date - were printed in dark brown ink on ivory laid paper with Strasbourg Lily / 'LVG' watermark (); cream () and buff laid paper (, ).
The second state, signed with the butterfly, was printed immediately after these, in 1886 - possibly at the end of September, and certainly by 2 October 1886. They are on a variety of papers, mostly in slightly lighter coloured ink. One is in light brown ink on cream laid paper with 'Pro Patria' watermark (); others on cream 'modern' laid (); on Japan (); light-weight ivory laid (); ivory Asian laid (); and in darker brown ink on ivory laid paper taken from a book, with binding holes at the top ().
The copper plate was cancelled in January 1887. 8 Cancelled impressions are in black ink on ivory laid paper (, ); and brown ink on ivory light-weight laid paper, possibly faux-Asian ().

8: Whistler to Messrs Dowdeswell, 17 January 1887, GUW #13022.