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James Whistler (1834-1903), La Marchande de moutarde – The Mustard Merchant 1858, etching and drypoint on cream laid paper (with a partial script watermark). Reference: Kennedy 22, first state (of five); Glasgow 20 (Margaret F. MacDonald, Grischka Petri, Meg Hausberg, and Joanna Meacock, James McNeill Whistler: The Etchings, a catalogue raisonné, University of Glasgow, 2011) first state (of 5). Lochnan 24. In very good condition, with wide margins: 6 ¼ x 3 1/2; the sheet 9 1/8 x 7 ¼ inches.
A very fine impression of the extremely rare first state of five, printing with rich tone; before the intricate lines above the pots on the shelf and the vertical lines on the beam just below the arch.
According to the Glasgow catalogue : “The unique first state is in the National Gallery in Washington DC. There are comparatively few impressions of the second state (but more of the third state).” This first state impression would thus double the total of known first state impressions. This impression has been examined by Margaret MacDonald, head of the Glasgow project, and will be included in the Glasgow catalogue as the second known impression of this print.
The composition is based on a pencil drawing Whistler made in Cologne during a walking tour through France and the Rhineland
with Ernest Delannoy in 1858. The print was shown together with a portrait etching at the Paris Salon of 1859 and can be considered
the artist’s first introduction to the public. For this historic reason, but also because of the charming quality of the image
itself, La Marchande is rightly considered one of Whistler’s most important early prints.
This impression has wide margins: 6 ¼ x 3 1/2; the sheet 9 1/8 x 7 ¼ inches.