Home > The Catalogue > Browse > Subjects > Etchings > Etching

The Beach, Hastings

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 150
Date: 1875/1878
Medium: drypoint
Size: 160 x 235 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 20
Catalogues: K.116; M.100; W.101
Impressions taken from this plate  (20)


beach, cancelled plate, fisherman, horse, sea, washing-line, worker.


Variations in the title are as follows:

'Hastings shore' (1877, Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890)). 2
'Hastings' (1881, Union League Club). 3
'The Beach' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 4
'Hastings - Wedmore calls it the Beech [sic]' (1890/1892, Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896)). 5
'The Beach, Hastings' (1900, Caxton Club). 6
'The Beach, Hastings' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 7
'The Beach' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 8

The Beach, Hastings is the preferred title, based on titles used by Whistler's wife and sister-in-law and others.

2: Howell to Whistler, [6-15 November 1877], GUW #02178.

3: New York 1881 (cat. no. 129).

4: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 101).

5: List, [1890/1892], GUW #12715.

6: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 95).

7: Note on the envelope containing the copper plate, University of Glasgow.

8: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 100).


In the foreground at lower left are two bundles (Mansfield calls them towels, Kennedy, linen) on the beach. Behind them clothes or towels are blowing in the breeze, hung to dry on lines held up by wooden poles. 9 Beyond, at the right, are men with horses drawing two carts up the sloping beach. At far right is a sign-board, a taller pole, and at the extreme right, a low wall. The sea, with waves breaking on the beach, stretches to the horizon under a clouded sky.

9: ibid; Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 116).


On one impression Whistler may have written 'Hastings' but the word has been strengthened by another hand and now reads 'Has tips'; Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) added 'His mother there at the time.' (). Anna Matilda Whistler (1804-1881) retired in 1875 to Hastings, on the east coast of England, on the Channel. She died there in 1881.