Greenwich Park

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 41
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 128 x 208 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 38
Catalogues: K.35; M.34; T.18; W.33
Impressions taken from this plate  (38)


Greenwich Park was not published.


One 'Trial proof' (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350101) and another impression, 'Elaborately worked' (probably Graphic with a link to impression #K0350220) were lent by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) to the exhibition of the Union League Club in New York in 1881. 7

7: New York 1881 (cat. nos. 49, 50).

Impressions were later lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350102). 8

Print dealers exhibited the impressions of different states that they had for sale, for instance at H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 and 1903, at Obach & Co. in London in 1903, and at F. Keppel & Co. in New York in 1904. 9 Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought his impressions from Wunderlich's in 1898 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350103 and Graphic with a link to impression #K0350203).

8: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 32).

9: New York 1898 (cat. no. 32). See REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

Impressions were also shown in the Memorial Exhibitions after Whistler's death; in 1904, two were shown at the comprehensive Grolier Club exhibition in New York, and Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent impressions of the first and second states to the Copley Society Show in Boston (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350107). 10 In 1905 King Edward VII lent one to the London Memorial show. 11

10: New York 1904a (cat. no. 35); Boston 1904 (cat. nos. 28, 29).

11: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 33).


Early collectors included James Guthrie Orchar (1825-1888) (1825-1898) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350z02), Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350204) and Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) who owned impressions of two states (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350101, Graphic with a link to impression #K0350220). Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910) likewise owned two states (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350103, Graphic with a link to impression #K0350203), and these were bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) from Wunderlich & Co. in 1898. Second states were also acquired at an early date by George Aloysius Lucas (1824-1909) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350205), Alfred Beurdeley (1847-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350214) and others.
The British Museum bought an impression of the first state in 1872 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350105) and a second state in 1885 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350207). E.D. Wallace (fl. 1871-1887), American, poet, novelist and writer on art, reported in the passionate prose of an admirer on a visit to the British Museum to see Whistler's works:
'let us go to the temple of art and science, and, provided with a "reader's ticket," and "special admission to the print room," we find in a row of elegantly bound folio cases, labeled "Etchings of British Artists," the jealously guarded works of Mr. Whistler, of Baltimore. We are cautioned by the clerk, who unlocks an immense case of pictures handsomely mounted on gilt edged boards, "to handle the treasures carefully," for there are no duplicates if those exquisite drypoints, and the British Museum is the only place in the world where they can be seen. We groan inwardly and are ashamed to confess we are Americans who must come to England to discover the merits and distinctions of our own people swallowed up in the British art schools. ... The very first glance at Mr. Whistler's etchings is sufficient for a lover of art to learn that every picture is copied from nature direct, and each subject has its characteristic point brought out by a master hand. Whether a river scene in open daylight, ... or the shades of a forest, with saucy sunbeams tipping the leafy branches with joyous scintillations, all are fully expressed, boldly or delicately, as the fancy may seize the artist, and every touch of the needle leaves a striking detail of the perfect composition of a rare genius. 12

12: 'Mr Whistler's Paintings', Baltimore Gazette, after 1 April 1876, in GUL PC1/75; partially quoting E.D. Wallace, 'The Fine Arts Abroad', Forney's Weekly Press, Philadelphia, 1 April 1876.

William Loring Andrews (1837-1927) gave an impression of the second state to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1883 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350222). Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) gave a second state to New York Public Library (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350221), and his business competitor, Frederick Keppel (1845-1912), gave one to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Graphic with a link to impression #K0350217).
Prices at auction were low, ranging from a few shillings to a few pounds. In 1887 a 'first state, before the sky and much extra work, on Japanese paper, rare' was sold with 'an early impression of the second state', in one mount, and the two were bought by the London print dealer, Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832) for £5.15.6. In the same sale a 'second state, on Japanese paper', was bought by Gustave Lauser (b. ca 1841) for only £0.10.0. 13

13: Sotheby's, 22 April 1887 (lots 182-183).

At Sotheby's in 1890 an impression was bought by 'Price' for £2.5.0. At the sale of the collection of the late Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) in 1892 a 'first state' was bought by Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915) for £2.2.0. In 1896 an impression was bought by 'Rimell' for only £0.9.0. At the sale of the collection of Richard Beavis (1824-1896) in 1897 one sold for £1.2.0 (with The Unsafe Tenement) to 'Parsons'. 14

14: Sotheby's, 28 February 1890 (lot 479), 3 March 1892 (lot 82), 15 December 1896 (lot 269); Christie's, 17-20 and 22 February 1897 (lot 54).