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Binding the Hair

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 334
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 133 x 95 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 4
Catalogues: K.344; M.342
Impressions taken from this plate  (4)


It is mostly etching but the additional shading is in drypoint. Whistler seems to have conceived it as a very restrained and intimate image, and printed it on darkened papers.


Binding the Hair is very rare; only four impressions have been located. The first state was printed in black ink on cream or ivory laid paper, now discoloured to tan (). Later impressions are in black ink on cream laid (), and in brown or black ink on discoloured and darkened laid papers (, ). All are trimmed to the platemark and signed on the tab with a butterfly and 'imp.' to show that Whistler had printed them.