Marchand de Meubles, Rue du Four

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 482
Date: 1897/1898
Medium: etching
Size: 204 x 298 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.435; M.431
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


antiques, frame, furniture, jars, mirrors, people, shop, street.


Alternative titles are as follows:

'MATEL / ACHATS DE MEUBLES ...' (1890s, Whistler). 1
'Marchand de Meubles. Rue du Four' (1905, Paris). 2
'Marchand de Meubles, Rue du Four' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 3

Mansfield's title may reflect knowledge obtained from the artist, and his title, 'Marchand de Meubles, Rue du Four', had been used in the Whistler Memorial catalogue from Paris in 1905, and has been accepted.

1: Etched on copper plate.

2: Paris Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 435).

3: Mansfield 1909 (cat. no. 431).


The front of a furniture shop stands at a street corner, where two figures are faintly indicated, with a street fading into the distance to right. In the centre there is a doorway, with a window on either side shaded by awnings. Above these are two large windows, with a balustrade in front of the one at right. Pots, furniture, pictures and objects of various shapes and sizes are stacked on the pavement, hung from the door, and piled up in the windows on both floors. Above the window at top right is a signboard hanging at an angle, and reading 'MATEL / ACHATS DE MEUBLES CO / ACHATS D'AGENCEMENTS PRIVÉ'.


Rue du Four, 6ième arrondissement, Paris, in the St Germain des prés district, is less than a kilometre from Whistler's house at 110 rue du Bac. It runs from the Boulevard Raspail to the Boulevard Saint-Germain at Mabillon. It is crossed by several streets including the Rue Mabillon. 'Depere ameublements' were listed in Bottin's directory at No. 43 Rue du Four in the 1890s, and may be the subject. Another possibility is No. 13, at the corner of the two streets, a rounded corner, with a deep arched balcony on the first floor, and decorative squares of brick inset into the stone facade.


An extraordinarily complex scene, richly detailed, spatially confusing, with a baroque exuberance in the piling up of objects. Similar subjects were etched by Whistler over many years, and include The Little Rag Shop, Milman's Row [265], The Rag Shop, Milman's Row [290], Rag Shop, Milman's Row, Chelsea [329] and Rag Shop, St Martin's Lane [328].