Z. Astruc, Editor of 'L'Artiste'

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 36
Date: 1859
Medium: drypoint
Size: 230 x 154 mm
Signed: 'Whistler - ' at lower left
Inscribed: '1859.' at lower left
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 21
Catalogues: K.53; M.53; T.66; W.49
Impressions taken from this plate  (21)


It was published in an album of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879.


It was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1860, when Whistler was still comparatively little known. 18 F.G. Stephens wrote: 'By this gentleman, whose name is quite new to us, is an admirable series of etchings, some executed with the drypoint. These are placed in the Octagon Room,' including 'Monsieur Astruc, Rédacteur du Journal L'Artiste', which Stephens described as 'a fine and characteristic portrait.' 19

Years later it was shown with the collection of James Anderson Rose (1819-1890) in Liverpool and elsewhere in 1874, and - lent by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) - with the Union League Club in New York in 1881 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0530101). 20 In 1898, an impression in a show at H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York (Graphic with a link to impression #K0530202) was bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919). 21

Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) wanted to include an impression in the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, but it appears none was forthcoming at that time. 22 However, by the time of the Boston Memorial show in 1904 Mansfield had acquired a good, richly inked impression, which he lent to the exhibition (Graphic with a link to impression #K0530204). 23

Impressions were shown in the other large Memorial Exhibitions held after Whistler's death, at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, and in London in 1905. 24

18: London RA 1860 (cat. no. 901). See REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

19: 'The Royal Academy', The Athenaeum, 19 May 1860, p. 685.

20: Liverpool 1874 (cat. no. 475); New York 1881 (cat. no. 70).

21: New York 1898 (cat. no. 46).

22: Mansfield to Whistler, 20 January 1893, GUW #04000.

23: Boston 1904 (cat. no. 43).

24: New York 1904a (cat. no. 51); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 49).


Whistler had sold a good impression of the second state, printed in black ink with strong burr, to the British Museum in 1863 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0530203). 25 The B.M. also bought a cancelled set including this portrait in 1887 (see Graphic with a link to impression #K0530305).

One impression was sold by the artist to Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890) in November 1877. On the same day Howell bought two other Parisian portraits, Auguste Delâtre, Printer [28] and C. L. Drouet, Sculptor [35]. 26

Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought an impression of the cancelled set in 1893 from Knoedler & Co. (Graphic with a link to impression #K0530301). He also bought an impression of the second state, originally from the collection of Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910), from Wunderlich's of New York on 9 November 1898 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0530202). Both were bequeathed to the Freer Gallery of Art.

25: Whistler to W. H. Carpenter, 3 August 1863, GUW #11109.

26: Whistler to Howell, 14-16 November [1877], GUW #13668.

In 1890 Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) noted that he needed an impression to complete his collection, telling Whistler:
'we looked over my nine portfolios of your work. When there are added to what I have the portraits of Riault, Mann and Astruc, and that of the Artist's Mother, and the figures of "The Model Resting", - the first state - and Maude standing, I shall think my collection of your etchings to be most satisfactory.' 27

27: Mansfield to Whistler, 26 November 1890, GUW #03992.

Later Mansfield acquired a fine impression of the second state printed with rich burr in black ink on cream 'laid' Japan paper. This was sold through A.A. Hahlo & Co. to Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937) in 1919 and was later acquired by the Library of Congress (Graphic with a link to impression #K0530204).

The Hamburger Kunsthalle bought a cancelled set, in 1896 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0530307). In fact most of the cancelled sets went into public collections.