An original lithograph printed in black ink on laid paper bearing the “D and C BLAUW” watermark (Spink 50, hunting horn in a crowned shield surmounting the name). Signed on the stone with the artist's butterfly monogram, lower left.
This is a richly printed impression of Spink's only state of this delicate subject, from the edition of 35 printed on this paper by Frederick Goulding on December 9, 1903.
Provenance: bearing the stamp of Rosalind Birnie Philip (Lugt 405), the artist's sister-in-law and sole executrix, in brown ink verso.
The theme of the youthful model posing in diaphanous drapery appears in Whistler's work in every medium from the 1860s on. “The Dancing Girl” seems to be his first representation in lithography of the female figure in motion. Whistler worked with the same light, rhythmical touch he used when sketching with chalk and pastel on brown paper, allowing the grain of the transfer paper to act like the tooth of the coarse drawing paper. The subject of this lithograph was probably one of the three Pettigrew sisters--Hetty, Rose, and Lily--who were Whistler's favorite models at this time. Catalogue reference: Spink 29; Way 30; Levy 45.
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