Drypoint printed on ‘antique’ laid paper, 1859
It was not until Whistler returned to Paris in October 1859 that he drew complete subjects in drypoint for the first time. He wrote: ‘The tiny thread of metal ploughed out of the line by the point as it runs along, clings to its edge through its whole length, and produces, in the proof, a soft velvety effect most painter-like and beautiful-and precious too, for this raised edge soon falls off the plate, from the continuous wiping in printing’ (see also Weary).
Most of Whistler’s early drypoints were portraits of artists and friends. He knew the sculptor Charles L. Drouet (1836-1908) from his student days in Paris, and they remained close friends. Drouet said this plate was finished in two sittings, totalling five hours.
Given by John Charrington 1933
Collections record: P.2096-R