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Hôtel Lallement, Bourges

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 396
Date: 1888
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 165 x 271 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 7
Catalogues: K.399; M.398
Impressions taken from this plate  (7)


The first state was executed in pure etching; drypoint, both delicate and emphatic, was used to augment shading in the two following states. The architecture was drawn with a combination of broken lines, patches of shading and cross-hatching, and long, irregular patches of shading and zigzag lines. The figures, chickens and sculptural details were sketched with short curving, wavy and jagged lines. The composition is vignetted, with broad spaces between details, giving an effect of dazzling light. Whistler was clearly not satisfied with the postion of the woman's feet, for he scraped them out in the the two last states. He did not, however, make further additions or corrections.


It was printed (and sold) immediately after Whistler's return from France. Seven impressions have been located. The first was printed in brown ink on ivory laid paper with a 'PRO PATRIA' watermark (). Another first state is in dark brown ink on ivory laid paper (). Impressions were printed with little tone but several early impressions have a light, even, marginal band of tone at left and right (, , ). Later impressions are mostly in dark brown ink on ivory laid paper (, , ), although one is on a greenish off-white laid paper ().
They are all trimmed to the platemark and signed on the tab with a butterfly and 'imp.' to show that Whistler printed them, and the signatures date from 1888-1889, except possibly for the single impression of the final state kept by Whistler, but even this is no later than 1890 ().