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The Garden

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 194
Date: 1879/1880
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 307 x 240 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Second Venice Set', 1886
No. of States: 15
Known impressions: 43
Catalogues: K.210; M.207; W.180
Impressions taken from this plate  (43)


Fifteen states are known before cancellation.

State 1

Etching: K2100103
Signed with a butterfly at lower left.

State 2

Etching: K2100201
Many details are partially or completely removed, most notably the boy sitting on the third step, the shrubbery at left and right, the shading on the wall at left and - to a lesser extent - the figures within the doorway in the background; short vertical lines below the waterline at centre and ripples at left, below the boy's dangling leg, and at right, below the frame of the opening in the wall, are also removed; new work is added to the walls on both sides of the opening onto the canal; short horizontals are added along the waterline; there are new vertical and horizontal lines indicating reflections below the left and right sides of the opening; spots of foul biting appear at lower left, at the bottom of the wall, and at the lower right corner.

State 3

Etching: K2100302
The shrubbery, foliage and shading on the wall in the background have been redrawn; new shading is added to the windows on the second storey and within the open doorway; the figures within the doorway are redrawn smaller in scale; many new spots of foul biting appear at left and right; there is a spot of foul biting as well as several diagonal and curved lines or scratches at the top of the image, one diagonal line above the lowest step and one below it.
Given the extent of foul biting from acid splashes, it is possible that Whistler originally considered the plate too damaged to develop further and that the diagonal and curved lines at the centre represent cancellation marks.

State 4

Etching: K2100301
Most of the foul biting that appeared in the previous state has been removed; just three scratches remain, over the upper left lintel of the opening in the wall and above and below the lowest step.

State 5

Etching: K2100402
The stairs are redrawn at right, and a cat is added in place of the boy removed in a earlier state; considerable shading is added to the stair risers, particularly on the one closest to the water; more shading is added to the left side of the wall in the background; the figure at right within the open doorway is slightly changed, with shading reduced.
Published in this and later states by Messrs Dowdeswell and Thibaudeau with the Twenty-six Etchings (the 'Second Venice Set') in 1886.

State 6

Etching: K2100502
Fine shading is added on the right side of the stair risers.

State 7

Etching: K2100503
Strong diagonal lines now extend along the left side of the opening in the wall, from the top of the shrubbery to the lowest step; the shrubbery at right has heavier shading near the bottom as well as a patch of short dark lines at upper centre.

State 8

Etching: K2100604
Fine crosshatched horizontal and vertical lines are added to the wall to the right of the open doorway, between the two thin tree trunks, and to the right of the tree trunks, above the shrubbery; a group of fine horizontals is added on the wall at right, above the shrubbery; right to left diagonal shading (///) darkens the lower part of the shrubbery.

State 9

Etching: K2100605
Fine horizontal drypoint lines are added on both sides of the open doorway, along with fine diagonal shading on the right side of the arched window frame to the right of it, and additional fine horizontal and diagonal lines between the tree trunks and the shrubbery.

State 10

Etching: K2100701
Shading now covers the upper back of the cat; some shrubbery is reduced or removed on both sides of the open doorway; the figures within the doorway are altered, most notably the woman on the right, who now faces left and has a distinctly outlined bustle or flounce at the back of her skirt; fine vertical shading is added to the inside of the left door frame, which is more heavily shaded at the top.

State 11

Etching: K2100702
The shrubbery on the right of the open doorway has been partly redrawn with both dark lines and fine shading; the bustle or flounce at the back of the skirt of the woman at right within the doorway is no longer distinctly outlined.

State 12

Etching: K2100703
Darker shading is added to the inside of the left frame of the open doorway; the two branches or vines that extend over the doorway at left are changed - both are thinner and now have more angular, zigzag shapes.

State 13

Etching: K2100803
The lines around the opening in the wall are rebitten and appear stronger; there are small patches of fine, granular foul biting on the rebitten areas, particularly on and around the lintel of the opening.

State 14

Etching: K2100806
Three patches of fine lines are added near the right corner of the lintel of the opening in the wall; the fine granular foul biting has been removed from the lintel but remains to left and right of it.

State 15

Etching: K2100810
A series of left to right diagonal lines (\\\) crosses the lintel above the fanlight of the open doorway; the figures within the doorway are changed again, including the hair and arm of the child at left, the silhouette and shading on the skirt of the woman holding an infant and the silhouette and head of the woman at right, who now appears to wear a hat; dark shading is added between the door frame and the woman holding an infant.
Whistler kept a fragment of this etching, reproduced below, clearly showing the changes in this state, which occur around and within the open doorway.
Etching: K2100903

State 15 (cancelled)

Etching: K2100902
Cancelled with crossed diagonal lines.