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James Abbott McNeill Whistler. 1834-1903.

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The Smith, Passage du Dragon. 1894. Lithograph with stumping. Way 73; Levy 110; Tedeschi, Stratis and Spink 103.iii/iii. 11 7/8 x 7 1/2 (sheet 14 1/4 x 9 3/4). Edition 34 in three states printed by Way (additionally, Goulding printed 45 posthumous impressions in 1904. A fine lifetime impression printed on off-white laid paper. Collector's seal verso, lower left, faint brown ink, stamped: initial BP in sketchy square: Lugt 406, Rosalind Birnie Philip (lifetime stamp- design by Whistler. Monogrammed with the butterfly in the stone. $3,000.

In the third state, in addition to the additions in the second state, two short lines (one on the left outer edge of the arch and the other above the left window) and one stray crayon mark (on the right, outside the arch) have been removed from the stone. Two horizontal ground lines at lower right have been erased, with the exception of one short segment.

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The Passage du Dragon is in the 6th arrondisement if Paris. The Rue du Dragon still exists, but the Cour de Dragon and the Passage that presumably connected the two are no longer there.

Records document that the artist was billed for twenty impressions of The Smith by Way in preparation for the Mr. Whistler's Lithographs exhibition at the Fine Art Society in 1895. The artist was involved with preparation for the event; however, the exhibition was not well covered in the press. When discussed The Smith, Passage du Dragon was mentioned as a key work. Eleven impressions of the image were sold from the exhibition, including a second-state impression currently within the Art Institute of Chicago collection.

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