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The Dance House: Nocturne

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 455
Date: 1889
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 274 x 169 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 6
Known impressions: 17
Catalogues: K.408; M.407; W.265
Impressions taken from this plate  (17)


Six states are known before cancellation.

State 1

Etching: K4080000
There is no signature or inscription.
The composition is basically complete but is only partially shaded.

State 2

Etching: K4080001
Considerable shading is added to the buildings in the background and to the canal and reflections in the foreground; however, shading does not extend to the left edge of the image.

State 3

Etching: K4080302
More shading is added throughout the image, and now extends to the left edge; the beams of the light and the lantern's reflections at centre (and possibly some of the window panes) are burnished and appear lighter and brighter; heavy foul biting appears along the edges of the image; soft dark areas are visible above the beams of light and around the windows, where the lines of close heavy shading have broken down and created flat tonal areas.

State 4

Etching: K4080205
The lantern at centre is more clearly defined, and the beams of light are narrower and more ray-like; the shape of the lower left window is changed, and the figures behind it are mostly removed; soft dark areas resulting from broken down lines are more extensive, and the effect may have been emphasized by rubbing down some lines with charcoal.
Kennedy described two states for The Dance House: Nocturne, and mistook earlier work on the plate for the later state. Kennedy's second state is actually State 4 and his first state is State 6. 15

15: Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 408 state I-II).

State 5

Etching: K4080104
Two figures are clearly delineated in the lower left window; close right-to-left (///) diagonal shading is added across the canal, in the foreground.

State 6

Etching: K4080111
The figures in the lower left window are changed again -- there now appear to be a head in the left pane and a partial head as well as a silhouette of head and shoulders in the right pane; patches of foul biting are present among the shading near the edge of the image, below the lower left window; long vertical patches of darker shading are added to the canal, in the foreground.
As noted under State 4, above, Kennedy identified only two states and he reversed the actual order of work on the plate. The sixth and final state identified by the Whistler Etchings Project was Kennedy's first state. 16

16: Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 408 state I).

State 6 (cancelled)

Etching: PS_K408_01
Cancelled with a diagonal line.

No impression from the cancelled plate is known. This is a digital image based on the copper plate. 17

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