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Dipping the Flag

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 308
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 82 x 178 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 10
Catalogues: K.325; M.319; W.242
Impressions taken from this plate  (10)
Dipping the Flag dates from 23 July 1887.
The fiftieth anniversary of the coronation of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was celebrated in 1887. Jubilee celebrations included a Naval Review at Spithead on 23 July. Whistler as President of the Society of British Artists was invited to attend.
Queen Victoria sailed from the Isle of Wight at 3 p.m. to review the fleet, as the Times reported:
'As soon as the Royal yacht Victoria and Albert is sighted on leaving Cowes a Royal salute will be fired from all vessels carrying saluting guns ... Yards will be manned in masted ships, and the turrets, breastworks and decks in unmasted vessels, and Her Majesty will be cheered as the Royal yacht ... passes through the lines.
The troopships with visitors will leave Plymouth between 12. 30 and 1. 13 p.m. and Southampton between 10.30 and 11.30 a.m., and pass through the different columns as directed'. 1
During the day Whistler made twelve etchings, the 'Jubilee Set', as well as a watercolour and pencil sketches. Bunting 304 shows a related subject.