C. L. Drouet, Sculptor

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 35
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 226 x 152 mm
Signed: 'Whistler' at lower right, 'Whistler Maitre Eaufortier' at upper right
Inscribed: '1859.' at lower right; 'Drouet. Sculpteur.' at lower centre
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 73
Catalogues: K.55; M.55; T.55; W.53
Impressions taken from this plate  (73)


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


It was first exhibited at Whistler's one-man exhibition in 1874. A not entirely favourable review of this show ended with unqualified admiration for the prints:
'a magnificent collection of about fifty of Mr. Whistler's etchings and dry-point engravings, so highly and so justly esteemed for their truth and beauty, as well as their marvellous technical skill. Among them are some fine portrait heads, notably that of M. Drouet, the French sculptor.' 17

17: 'Exhibition of Mr. Whistler's Works', unidentified press-cutting, [June 1874], GUL PC1/67. London Pall Mall 1874 (cat. no. 34).

It was also shown in 1874 in a travelling exhibition of the collection of James Anderson Rose (1819-1890) in Liverpool and elsewhere. 18 Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) lent an impression ('Trial proof; very rare') to the Union League Club exhibition in New York in 1881 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550101). 19 It was exhibited comparatively widely at print dealer's shows including H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550204) and 1903, and Obach & Co., London, 1903; and at internationals (Chicago in 1893, Buffalo in 1900 and Philadelphia, 1902). 20

18: Liverpool 1874 (cat. no. 477).

19: New York 1881 (cat. no. 74).


Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) lent another to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900; interestingly, if it is the one inherited by his wife and bequeathed to the Art Institute of Chicago, it was a late impression, taken from the cancelled plate after restoration (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550202). 21

Impressions were shown in the Memorial shows after Whistler's death. Both first and second states were shown at the comprehensive Grolier Club exhibition in 1904. Albert W. Scholle (1860-1917) lent a fine impression to the Boston Memorial in 1904 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550214); and John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) lent his to the London show of 1905 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550228). 22

21: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 49).

22: New York 1904a (cat. nos. 55a, b); Boston 1904 (cat. no. 47); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 53).


Whistler gave three impressions to Charles L. Drouet (1836-1908), and one was inscribed 'A mon ami Drouet. Whistler' (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550218). 23

Another 'Drouet' was sold by Whistler to Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890) on 14 November 1877. 24

Some years later, in 1889, Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought one from the New York print dealer Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550205 ) and he acquired another in 1898 that had come from the collection of Francis Seymour Haden, Sr (1818-1910) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550204). Keppel bequeathed another- a later impression on modern laid paper - to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550209).

At the sale of the collection of the late Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891), at Sotheby’s, 3 March 1892 (lot 103) a 'trial proof' was bought by Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915) for the high price of £6.10.0.

23: Pennell 1908, p. 70.

24: 14-16 November [1877], GUW #13668.

A few months later, Whistler told his sister-in-law:
'Drou[e]t has asked tearfully for you - you will be pleased to hear! - Otherwise the shocking old man is buying and selling Whistler Etchings - and turning many a penny I dare say -' 25 However, Drouet bequeathed one impression (the one inscribed 'A mon ami Drouet. Whistler' , Graphic with a link to impression #K0550218) to the Print Department of the Bibliothèque Nationale. He also gave one to Just Becquet (1829-1907) (who had posed to Whistler in the same year) who planned to bequeath it the the museum at Besançon. 26

An impression owned by Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924) was returned to Whistler for a signature around 1890/1892 - whether by MacGeorge or a dealer is not known. It was later owned by Albert W. Scholle (1860-1917) and was eventually given by Harold K. Hochschild to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550214).

Another impression was bought from Edmond Gosselin (1849-1917) by the Kupferstichkabinett Berlin for 450 fr. on 2 January 1902 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0550216).

25: Whistler to Ethel Whibley, [25 May 1892], GUW #06308.