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The Model

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 248
Date: 1883/1885
Medium: mezzotint
Size: 253 x 178 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 4
Catalogues: K.346; M.344
Impressions taken from this plate  (4)


The plate appears to have been covered with heavy, even aquatint or open bite and then scraped out minimally to produce the shadowy figure at the centre. While, under magnification, the dark ground does not resemble the surface created by the teeth of a roulette wheel or rocker, the process and resulting print are parallel to mezzotint.
Whistler made two other 'mezzotints' (Lady standing 170, Trafalgar Square 249).


Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought an impression of The Model from Max Williams & Co. in 1893 (). He believed it to be the only impression taken from the plate. It is printed in black ink on ivory laid paper and is very dark indeed. It is trimmed to the platemark and signed on the tab with a curiously neat butterfly, suggesting Whistler printed it.
Etching: K3460104
A few posthumous impressions were printed ca 1969 from the copper plate in the Hunterian Art Gallery (a note that the plate was 'taken by Robert Cox for printing' is initialled and dated 'RS.12.VI.69'). In one of these, reproduced above, only the central area is inked, and it was printed in warm black ink on off-white wove paper (). A more fully inked impression, shown below, is so dark that the figure is almost invisible ().
Etching: K3460103