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Windows, Bourges

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 398
Date: 1888
Medium: etching
Size: 149 x 80 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 3
Catalogues: K.400; M.399
Impressions taken from this plate  (3)


The plate for Window, Bourges, was executed in pure etching. The fašade was outlined with long broken lines, and filled in with a few isolated patches of zigzag shading. The bird cages and other details were sketched with shorter strokes, irregular curves and nervous, jagged lines.


Back from the honeymoon, Whistler went to work proofing and printing his plates. There are two known impressions of the first state of Windows, Bourges (, ) and one of the second (), printed in warm black ink with almost no plate tone, and trimmed to the platemark, leaving a tab for Whistler's butterfly and 'imp.' to show that he had printed them. They were printed within a year of the original etching, and probably immediately on Whistler's return to Paris or London.