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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)


baby, gipsy, girl, model, portrait.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'Gipsy' (1887/1888, Whistler). 2
'Gipsy Baby' (1890/1891, Whistler). 3
'The Greedy Baby' (1898, Wunderlich's). 4
'Gipsy Baby' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 5
'Gipsy Baby (Greedy Baby)' (1910, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 6

The title 'Gypsy Baby' is based on Whistler's title.

2: List, [1887/1888], GUW #13233.

3: List, [1890/1891], GUW #13236.

4: New York 1898 (cat. no. 281).

5: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 337).

6: Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 339).


A little girl with short curly hair, turned slightly to the right, but looking toward the viewer, is seated on the knee of an older girl, who sits turned toward the left. The child has short curly hair and wears a short dress with puffed sleeves; she is holding something - probably something to eat - in her hands; her left leg is barely seen but her right leg stretches down, showing a sock or bootee. Only the face and bust of the young woman are seen. She is wearing a hat which casts a strong shadow on her face. There are also shadows behind the child.


Possibly Edith, one of the Pettigrew family, niece of Rose Amy Pettigrew (b. 1872) and Lilian Pettigrew (b. 1870). A comparable subject is Baby Pettigrew 374. The Pettigrew girls were described by John Everett Millais (1829-1896) as being as wild as gypsies. 7

7: J.G. Millais, The Life and Letters of Sir John Everett Millais, President of the Royal Academy, 1899, p. 165.