|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||153 x 230 mm|
|Signed:||butterfly at upper left|
|No. of States:||2|
|Impressions taken from this plate (8)|
The butterfly signature is consistent with a date of about 1887. However, the etching could date from early in the following year and was first sold in July 1888. 2
Whistler's wife-to-be, Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896) - they were married in August 1888 - was an artist and designer, and many of her designs incorporate birds and cages. 3 It is possible that Whistler's interest in the subject was aroused by her and not just by the complex geometrical shapes of the cages against a rectangular façade.
1: 'Lyceum Theatre', The Times, 8 June 1887, p. 9.
2: Whistler to R. F. Knoedler, 27 July 1888, GUW #13660.
3: Glasgow 1997, pp. 26-30, cat. nos.8-14, 53-55.