Polichinelle, Jardin du Luxembourg

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 467
Date: 1892/1894
Medium: etching
Size: 122 x 161 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.430; M.424
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


baby, landscape, leisure, people, Punch and Judy, sculpture, statue, tree, woman seated.


Whistler's original title is not known and there is only one later title (in two languages) recorded, as follows:

'Polichinelle. Jardin du Luxembourg' (1905, Paris). 3
'Polichinelle, Luxembourg Gardens' (1906, Rotterdam). 4

The preferred title is the French, 'Polichinelle, Jardin du Luxembourg', and was almost certainly provided by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958). The other version is half English - a full English translation would be, 'Punch and Judy Show, Luxembourg Gardens'.

3: Paris Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 434).

4: Rotterdam 1906 (cat. no. 34).


A view of an open grassy space with trees in full leaf across the background. In the middle distance, to left, are three women, one with a baby, sitting on chairs (there are some more chairs stacked to their left, behind them). Just to right of centre are two women sitting on chairs under a statue on a plinth. In the distance are crowds of people, some watching a Punch-and-Judy show. Beyond the trees, at left, is a building in shadow.


The Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) is a public park in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was not far from Whistler's house at 110 rue du Bac. Whistler made several etchings of the gardens, including Under the Statue, Luxembourg Gardens [464], The Little Terrace, Luxembourg Gardens, No. 2 [444], Balustrade, Luxembourg Gardens [465], Bébés, Jardin du Luxembourg [463] and The Pantheon from the Terrace, Luxembourg Gardens [473].
Comparative image
Conversation under the Statue, Luxembourg Gardens [c069], lithograph, 1893, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow (49658).
He also drew three lithographs there in November 1893, Conversation under the Statue, Luxembourg Gardens [c069], The Steps, Luxembourg [c068] and The Pantheon, from the terrace of the Luxembourg Gardens [c070], although, as he complained to T. R. Way, 'The three little Luxembourg gardens I could have done more with under better conditions - ' 5 In addition Whistler made a slight pencil sketch on the back of a letter on 25 March 1892 (The Terrace, Luxembourg [m1332]). He followed up with two more lithographs, Nursemaids: 'Les Bonnes du Luxembourg' [c081] and The Terrace, Luxembourg [c087], in 1894. Two later drawings on lithographic paper, Seated woman in Luxembourg Gardens [m1401] and Statue in Luxembourg Gardens [m1400], were never transferred to stone or printed. 6

5: [15 November 1893], GUW #03348.

6: Whistler to T. R. Way, [19 July 1894], GUW #03376.