This composition was also issued as a published edition at version 3, state II, titled "Le Chat."
There are 5 known diptych impressions, outside the edition. Diptychs outside the editon are combinations of the first and second versions of this composition, at various states.
State Changes and Additions:
Left side (a): Version 1, state VII Changes from version 1, state VI, by burnishing: four nipples on cat’s left abdomen removed. Changes from version 1, state VI, in drypoint: fur added to cat’s back; nipples redrawn.
Right side (b): Version 2, state VIII Changes from version 1: version 1, state I composition inverted and transferred to a new, identically sized plate, in drypoint. Changes from version 2, state VII, by burnishing: right eye removed; left paw partially removed; back of neck narrowed; and contours softened overall. Changes from version 2, state VII, in drypoint: tail, right eye, and left paw reconfigured; shading and fur added overall; whiskers reinforced. Changes from version 2, state VII, in aquatint: shading added overall.
In the 1950s, when Bourgeois was living with her husband and children in an apartment on 18th Street in New York City, the family had two cats: Champfleurette and Tyger.
These two compositions constitute a single work of art. They are to be framed together approximately one inch apart, with a continuous horizon line.
It appears that the unique shading seen on the female cat's fur was created by using fine strokes of stop-out varnish or asphaltum before aquatint was added to the plate.
Although the development of the Male and Female diptych has been divided into first and second versions for clarity, Bourgeois worked on both plates concurrently.
According to printer Felix Harlan, the third, smaller version in the Evolving Composition Diagram was initially created as a test plate. Aquatint was being considered to add shading to the male cat. Ultimately, Bourgeois decided against aquatint for the shading, but she liked the compositional fragment on the test plate. She added the contour of the cat's body and editioned this version as "Le Chat" on handmade paper.
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