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Gypsy Baby

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 373
Date: 1887/1888
Medium: etching
Size: 100 x 68 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 3
Catalogues: K.339; M.337
Impressions taken from this plate  (3)


The plate for Gypsy Baby was executed in pure etching. Whistler drew the child in two distinct positions, one further left than the final position, with the earlier lines slightly disguised and slightly accentuated by diagonal shading. Broken lines, dots and dashes, patches of shading, two or three outlines on the young woman's face, all contribute to a curiously naive and confusing image.


Only three impressions of Gypsy Baby have been located. One was printed in dark brown ink on ivory laid paper (), another in black on similar paper () and the third in black on buff laid paper, possibly an Asian paper (). Each was printed with light surface tone, trimmed to the platemark and signed with a butterfly and 'imp.' on the tab to show that they were printed by Whistler.