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Cottage Door

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 252
Date: 1886
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 68 x 100 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 8
Catalogues: K.250; M.246; W.204
Impressions taken from this plate  (8)


Whistler drew this lively group with expressive broken etched lines, adding regular shading, zigzag shading, and elaborate cross-hatching in the background. Finally he delicately clarified details of the figures and the area surrounding the figures with fine drypoint.


There may have been a limited print run of less than ten impressions. A printing record by Whistler and his unidentified assistants records two impressions of 'Cottage Door' printed on 16 May and three on 4 September 1887. 15

15: [8 February-29 September 1887], GUW #12716.

One first state is in dark brown ink on ivory laid paper (). Most are printed in black ink, with very light tone, on ivory laid paper, and trimmed to the platemark, leaving a tab for the butterfly and 'imp' to show that Whistler had printed them (, ) to show that Whistler printed them.