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The Steps, Gray's Inn

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 282
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 67 x 179 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 7
Catalogues: K.295; M.290
Impressions taken from this plate  (7)
Steps, Gray's Inn probably dates from the summer of 1887, since it shows people sitting on the grass, and trees in full leaf. It is close in size to other etchings dating from 1887 including Dry Docks, Southampton 302 and Flower Market, Brussels 339. The butterfly signature is consistent with this date.
It is not absolutely certain when it first went on sale: possibly as 'Steps' on 17 November 1887 - but this could possibly have been Little Steps, Chelsea 269 - and certainly as 'Steps Gray's Inn' to H. Wunderlich & Co. on 29 June 1888. 1

1: Whistler to T. McLean, GUW #13016; #13052

The 'Grey's Inn Set' also includes The Long Seats, Gray's Inn 283 and The Hoop (Gray's Inn) 287.