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The history of printing and publishing the etchings has been established using Whistler's correspondence and ledgers, contemporary accounts, published memoirs and other books, dealers' records, and any information on the print itself. Whistler occasionally wrote a number or date or other coded record on impressions.
This records the publication or serial publication of an etching by a publisher or print dealer, or in a book or journal, giving dates and other relevant details and sources.
Impression: K0110202
La Mère Gérard [24]
Impression: K0110404
La Mère Gérard [24], as published in the 'French Set', 1858.


A survey of the sales, exhibitions and publication of etchings is intended to outline the main patterns in the marketing of Whistler's etchings during his lifetime, and trace the provenance of individual etchings thereafter, The history of ownership of individual etchings has been explored as fully as possible. An unbroken record of ownership is shown by separating owners by a semi-colon. Gaps in ownership, whether brief or long, or where the record is uncertain, are indicated by a full stop.

Collectors' marks and dealers' pencil notes, as well as any inscriptions, have been recorded and interpreted as fully as possible. 1

They have been collated with dealers' ledgers, sale and exhibition catalogues, to provide as full a record of ownership of individual prints as possible. A summary of patterns of sale and ownership is summarised in the Catalogue Raisonné for each etching as a whole.

1: The most important research aid for identifying collectors' marks is Frits Lugt, Les Marques de Collections de Dessins et d'Estampes (1921 ans 1956), which has been updated in an online edition by the Fondation Custodia,



  • Mr Whistler's Exhibition, Flemish Gallery, Pall Mall, London, 1874
  • Venice Pastels, The Fine Art Society, London, 1881
  • Mr Whistler's Etchings, The Fine Art Society, London, 1883


  • Griffiths, Antony, Prints and printmaking: an introduction to the history and techniques, British Museum, London, 1996.
  • Lochnan, Katharine A., The Etchings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1984.
  • Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908.
  • Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Whistler Journal, Philadelphia, 1921.
  • Petri, Grischka, Arrangement in Business: The Art Markets and the Career of James McNeill Whistler, Hildesheim, 2011.
  • Tedeschi, Martha, 'Whistler and the English print market', Print Quarterly, xiv, no.1, March 1997, pp. 15-41.
  • Whistler, James McNeill, [Letter to Atlas], The World: A Journal For Men and Women, no. 339, vol. 13, 29 December 1880, p. 12.
  • Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London, 1890.