Etching printed in dark brownish black on cream laid paper, circa 1886-88. 126x176 mm; 5x7 inches, full margins. MacDonald's first state (of 2), before the additional shading and darkening of the central doorway. Signed with the butterfly and inscribed "imp" in pencil on the tab, lower left. A superb impression of this extremely scarce print.
MacDonald cites only 6 known impressions. We have found only 2 other impressions of this print at auction in the past 30 years.
Many of Whistler's London etchings of the mid-1880s and early 1890s are an extension of his Venice etchings, depicting scenes of shop fronts, street scenes and parks in and around his home in Chelsea. These etchings were mainly drawn from life, with small plates that he carried along with him on walks through the city. According to Getscher, his "disciples" Mortimer Menpes and Walter Sickert, "Were often encouraged to go out hunting for such subjects for 'the Master'," (The Stamp of Whistler, p. 87). Kennedy 280; Glasgow 278.