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The Steps, Amsterdam

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 452
Date: 1889
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 242 x 166 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 5
Known impressions: 14
Catalogues: K.403; M.402; W.260
Impressions taken from this plate  (14)


Five states are known before cancellation.

State 1

Etching: K4030101
Signed with a butterfly at upper left.
The composition is complete, except that the steps and reflections are barely indicated.

State 2

Etching: K4030z01
The top of each step is drawn in; the back and skirt of the girl facing the steps are shaded, and she casts a shadow to right; there are some additions, possibly in drypoint, including patches of shading in the water.

State 3

Etching: K4030208
The five lower steps are finished and shaded; the wooden pilings supporting the cobbled pavement have been partly rubbed down and reworked; new shading is added in the water, reaching the bottom edge, and in the doorways; the shadow cast by the girl's leg on the cobbles has been removed; the head and body of the woman standing on the top of the steps are drawn in; the skirt of the woman in the doorway at left is shaded.

State 4

Etching: K4030303
Longer fine vertical lines shade the steps, and the tops of the steps are more clearly defined; new shading is added on the wooden bulkhead above the canal.

State 5

Etching: K4030302
Perpendicular lines partly shade the white space at lower left; diagonal lines are added at lower right; the shadows in the doorways look as if they have been rubbed down.

State 5 (cancelled)

Etching: PS_K403_01
Cancelled with a diagonal line.

No impression from the cancelled plate is known. This is a digital image based on the copper plate. 10

10: A scan of the copper plate was flipped horizontally, converted to greyscale, and colour inverted, with enhanced contrast.