UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Title Page for 'Douze Eaux Fortes d'apr├Ęs Nature'

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
(1927.5902a)
Number: 22
Date: 1858
Medium: etching
Size: 112 x 147 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: 'Douze / Eaux Fortes / d'apres Nature - / par James. Whistler. / Imp. Delatre. Rue St. Jacques. 171. Paris. Nov. 1858 -' and 'Imp. Delatre. Rue St. Jacques. 171. Paris. Nov. 1858 -' at top; 'A / Mon viel Ami Seymour Haden.' at bottom.
Set/Publication: 'French Set', 1858
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 56
Catalogues: K.25; M.25; T.1; W.20
Impressions taken from this plate  (56)

PUBLICATION

It was published in November 1858 as the title page for Douze eaux-fortes d'après Nature (the 'French Set'), by Auguste Delâtre (1822-1907).

EXHIBITIONS

It is likely that it appeared in early exhibitions of the 'French Set' but the first definite exhibition listing is in an exhibition in Philadelphia in 1879. 17 It was also seen in exhibitions arranged by clubs for connoisseurs and collectors, at the Union League Club in New York in 1881, lent by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250144), and the Caxton Club, Chicago in 1900, to which one was lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250103). 18

It also appeared in print dealer's shows, particularly at H. Wunderlich & Co. in 1898, when one was bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250106, Graphic with a link to impression #K0250133), and in 1903, and with F. Keppel & Co. (1902) in New York.

17: Philadelphia 1879; see REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

18: New York 1881 (cat. no. 3); Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 20).

It was shown in the principal Memorial Exhibitions after Whistler's death, at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, in London in 1905 (from the set lent by King Edward VII), and in Paris, also in 1905 (as 'Titre de la "Série Française" - The Title to the French Set'). 19

19: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 20); Paris Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 301).

SALES & COLLECTORS

Whistler was aided by his family in selling the 'French Set.' Thomas de Kay Winans (1820-1878) bought a set including The Title Page for 'Douze Eaux Fortes d'après Nature' (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250151) in the summer of 1859 through Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), to whom he wrote on 20 June: 'I enclose two drafts on Liverpool amounting to £63 sterling and as requested by you, for the etchings - they arrived in good order and are considered very fine, doing Jemmy great credit'. 20 This set was given over a century later by Winans's descendants to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

20: GUW #07079.

Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910)also presented a complete 'French Set' including the cover and title page (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250142, Graphic with a link to impression #K0250143) to South Kensington Museum on 1 January 1861.

Two impressions from the collection of Philippe Burty (1830-1890), were bought by the British Museum in 1865 and 1866 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250139, Graphic with a link to impression #K0250140) and a third in 1872 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250138), as examples of the print on three different papers (cream wove, ivory Japanese, and blue wove paper, respectively). 21

21: British Museum Print Room, acquisition ledgers, 1865-1866.

Two more impressions from Burty's collection, the first an 'undescribed' state 'without drypoint line running across the cloak of the girl on the left' and another 'on tinted paper', were sold at Sotheby's in 1876 and bought by Messrs Hogarth and 'Riggall' for £6.0.0 and £2.0.0 respectively. 22

It is difficult to check the original prices of the 'French Set' because they were sometimes sold individually, and sometimes with the whole set. Whistler appears to have bought one (he called it 'Portrait (on blue cover)') from Edmond Gosselin (1849-1917) for 35 francs in 1887, and this may be the same impression, 'Title Page', that he recorded as in his possession in July 1889. 23 A complete 'French Set', 'with the wrapper', from the collection of James Anderson Rose (1819-1890) was sold at Sotheby's, 11 November 1891 (lot 78).

The Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, bought an impression from Obach & Co. in 1902 for £2.5.0 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250114), which was a bargain, compared to the other nine prints bought at the same time, at prices ranging from £5.5.0 for Graphic with a link to impression #K0390209 to £15.0.0 for Graphic with a link to impression #K0910404. 24

22: Sotheby's, 27 April 1876, lots 721-722.

23: 9 May 1887, GUW #13098; list, 18 July 1889, #13235.

24: Museum records.

Early collectors included Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250106, Graphic with a link to impression #K0250133) - bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) from Wunderlich's in 1898; Charles Sydenham Haden (1822-1898) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250125, Graphic with a link to impression #K0250157); Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) by 1881, whose collection went to New York Public Library (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250144); William Loring Andrews (1837-1927), who gave one to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1883 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250119) and Harry Brisbane Dick (1855-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250152) whose impression likewise went to the Metropolitan; George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909), whence to the Baltimore Museum of Art (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250112, Graphic with a link to impression #K0250113); Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250103), Charles Deering (1852-1927) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250104) and Walter Stanton Brewster (1872-1954) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250105) whose impressions went to the Art Institute of Chicago; and Albert Henry Wiggin (1868-1951), who gave one to Boston Public Library (Graphic with a link to impression #K0250130).