Carpet Menders, Paris

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 480
Date: 1897/1898
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 201 x 251 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.420; M.416; W.257
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


people, shop-front, streetscape, woman, worker.


The title has remained fairly consistent, but the address is sometimes added, sometimes absent:

'Carpet Menders, Paris' (1898, Wunderlich's). 3
'Carpet Menders - Paris -' (1899, Wunderlich's). 4
'Carpet-Menders' (1899, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)) 5
'Carpet Menders' (1900, Caxton Club). 6
'Carpet Menders. Rue de Grenelle, Paris' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 7
'Les repriseuses de tapis. Paris. - The (Carpet Menders. Paris)' (1905, Paris). 8

Since it is not absolutely certain that Miss Birnie Philip's title was derived from Whistler, 'Carpet Menders, Paris', which is the earliest recorded title, and was not disputed by Whistler, has been chosen as definitive.

3: New York 1898 (cat. no. 290).

4: Wunderlich's to Whistler, 24 March 1899, GUW #07305.

5: Wedmore 1899 (cat. no. 257).

6: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. E223).

7: Envelope containing copper plate, Hunterian Art Gallery.

8: Paris Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 408).


Three women sit mending a carpet within a tall, narrow open doorway. The one at left faces inwards, looking at her work, and the other two look out at the viewer; behind them another door or cupboard is visible in the dark interior. Above the door is a small skylight, with four panes, possibly of patterned glass. To left of the door is a big window divided vertically in three, with a woman sewing seen in the middle section; the shutter for the window is open, at the left. The left half of the window on the right is shuttered, the right, open, with patterned curtains hanging inside.


Probably the Rue de Grenelle, Paris, France, as recorded by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) on the envelope containing the copper plate. 9 Whistler stayed at the Hotel du Bon Lafontaine at 16-18 rue de Grenelle in the summer of 1892 when his house at 110 rue de Bac was being prepared for them to move in. Whistler made a lithograph there as well, La Fruitière de la rue de Grenelle [c106].

9: Hunterian Art Gallery.