The Beggars

James Whistler (1834-1903), The Beggars, etching and drypoint, 1879-80, signed with the butterfly on the tab and inscribed “imp”. Reference:  Glasgow 190, eighth state (of 17),  Kennedy 194, fourth state (of 9), from the First Venice Set. In excellent condition, trimmed by the artist to the plate mark except for the tab, 12 x 8 1/8 inches.

Provenance: Kennedy Galleries, NY, with their stock number verso (a 6953).

A very fine impression, printed on laid Japan, with substantial plate tone especially towards the edges of the composition.

In this rather early impression Whistler has burnished the butterfly from the upper left (and one can still see some evidence of this work), and moved the lantern from the far left toward the middle of the composition. But he has yet to do much additional shading and figuration work on the man with the wide-brimmed hat in the passageway.