Auguste Delâtre, Printer

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 28
Date: 1858/1859
Medium: etching
Size: 84 x 56 mm
Signed: 'J. Whistler.' at upper right
Inscribed: 'Homage / à Mme. Delatre.' at upper right
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 24
Catalogues: K.26; M.26; T.14; W.21
Impressions taken from this plate  (24)


Published in the set of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879.
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) owned an album of these plates, which included an impression of Delâtre's portrait (Graphic with a link to impression #K0260203). Many albums were broken up but some impressions are still in the original album (i.e. Graphic with a link to impression #K0260206, Graphic with a link to impression #K0260207).


It was first exhibited in 1874 in Whistler's own one-man exhibition, and an impression went to Liverpool in a touring exhibition of the collection of James Anderson Rose (1819-1890) in the same year. 11

It was also seen in shows organised by clubs for connoisseurs and collectors. The impression owned by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0260107) was shown at the Union League Club in New York in 1881, and described as 'Whistler's printer, very rare.' 12 Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent an impression to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900. 13

It also appeared in print dealer's shows, particularly at H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 and 1903. Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought one from the 1898 show (Graphic with a link to impression #K0260102). 14

Finally it was exhibited in Memorial Exhibitions after Whistler's death. An impression was shown at the Grolier Club, New York in 1904 and a proof of the cancelled state was lent by Ernest Brown & Philips to the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905. 15

11: London Pall Mall 1874 (cat. no. 4); Liverpool 1874 (cat. no. 476); see REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

12: New York 1881 (cat. no. 31).

13: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 21).

14: New York 1898 (cat. no. 20); New York 1903b (cat. no. 16)

15: New York 1904a (cat. no. 22);London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 21).


A good impression in rich black ink on cream laid paper was given by Whistler to the sitter, who wrote on it, 'Mon portrait par J. Whisler [sic] / Aug. Delâtre' (Graphic with a link to impression #K0260107). This was acquired by Philippe Burty (1830-1890), and probably bought at the Burty sale at Sotheby's, 27 April 1876, by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904).
James Anderson Rose (1819-1890) had an impression of Auguste Delâtre, Printer, which was shown in a travelling exhibition in 1874, sold at Sotheby's in a three-day sale from 27 June 1876 (lot 662) and bought by the print dealer Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892). One sale was recorded by Whistler to Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890), on 14 November 1877. 16

Avery catalogued his impression as 'Whistler's printer, very rare' when exhibited in New York in 1881. 17 Whistler also emphasized the rarity value of this print in its original condition by writing on Mansfield's impression, at some time in the 1890s, 'Portrait of Delatre / the printer / Rare -' (Graphic with a link to impression #K0260104).

'Portrait of Delatre' figures in a large collection of etchings that H. Wunderlich & Co. of New York had 'on hand' (with no details given) in 1897. 18 In November 1898 an impression from the collection of Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910) was bought from Wunderlich's by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0260102). Another early impression, from the collection of Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924), was probably sold through Wunderlich's, and was in the hands of Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) of F. Keppel & Co. by 1919, when it was sold to Albert Henry Wiggin (1868-1951), becoming part of the print collection of Boston Public Library.

Individual cancelled impressions, probably removed from the cancelled set, are to be found in a number of major public collections (see Graphic with a link to impression #K0260103, Graphic with a link to impression #K0260108, Graphic with a link to impression #K0260201, Graphic with a link to impression #K0260204, Graphic with a link to impression #K0260206, Graphic with a link to impression #K0260207, Graphic with a link to impression #K0260208).

16: GUW #13668.

17: New York 1881 (cat. no. 31).

18: Wunderlich to Whistler, [August 1897], GUW #07289.