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The Square House, Amsterdam

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 454
Date: 1889
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 231 x 175 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 7
Known impressions: 16
Catalogues: K.404; M.403; W.261
Impressions taken from this plate  (16)


The composition is basically etching with extensive, delicate shading in drypoint, which was augmented and revised during seven states.


No impressions of the first state have been located (), and only one of the second (). An impression of the third state was printed in dark brown ink on ivory Japan (). Most impressions were printed in brown ink, and the majority on ivory laid papers (, , , ) as well as buff 'antique' (pre-1800) laid paper (), cream laid (), and one on soft ivory laid paper ().
Whistler did occasionally number and/or date his Amsterdam prints as they came off the press. One impression of the final state of The Square House, Amsterdam is inscribed '1. Feb. 23' in pencil on the verso and also 'Selected for / Chs. Freer' (). This probably means it was the first proof printed on 23 February 1890. What is presumably the second impression is similarly numbered '2. Feb 23 -' () These notations are written in tiny letters and similar notes may have been rubbed off other impressions.
Although most were printed in brown, a few are in black ink, one final state being on ivory Japan (). Other impressions of the final state are in dark brown ink on a range of papers including ivory () and cream () laid; ivory laid watermarked 'PRO PATRIA' (); and ivory Japan ().