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Little Arthur

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
(1898.227)
Number: 8
Date: 1857/1858
Medium: etching
Size: 81 x 54 (K5) 57 x 48 mm
Signed: 'J.W.' at lower left (1-3); 'Whistler' at lower right (2-3); removed (4); 'Whistler' at lower left (4).
Inscribed: 'Imp. Delatre. Rue. St. Jacques. 171.' at lower left (3)
Set/Publication: 'French Set', 1858
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 61
Catalogues: K.9; M.7; T.8; W.13
Impressions taken from this plate  (61)
Little Arthur probably dates from early 1858, although it could possibly date from late in the previous year. It was published with the Douze eaux-fortes d'après Nature (Twelve Etchings from Nature) (the 'French Set') in November 1858.

Lochnan suggests that Whistler's etching was drawn during his convalescence at the Hadens' house in Sloane Street, London, in February or March 1858 (he left for Paris in early April). 1 In April 1858, Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910) etched a profile portrait of his five year old son Arthur, which looks very like his appearance in Whistler's etching. 2 The two portraits may well have been done at the same time.

1: Lochnan 1984 , pp. 25-27, 57.

2: H. N. Harrington, The Engraved Work of Seymour Haden, an Illustrated and Descriptive Catalogue, Liverpool, 1910 (cat. no. 7).