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The Silk Dress

Impression: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Number: 151
Date: 1875
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 209 x 134 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 18
Catalogues: K.107; M.115
Impressions taken from this plate  (18)


cancelled plate, clothing, dress, fashion, full-length, portrait, woman standing.


Whistler's original title is not known. Only one title is known, as follows:

'The Silk Dress' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 2
'The Silk Dress' (1910, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 3

2: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 115).

3: Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 107).


A full-length portrait of a young woman standing facing left, her head turned to look at the viewer, and her left arm hanging at her side. She wears a small hat with very narrow brim, a dress with close-fitting bodice, slightly puffed sleeves, and a skirt with a broad pleated hem, and an overskirt gathered behind the waist and falling in folds into a train to right.


Possibly Elizabeth Dawson (b. 1840).


This is one of several studies of women in fashionable dress, such as The Velvet Dress (Mrs Leyland) 120, The Little Velvet Dress 119, The Muff 131, Maud, Standing 169.