Isle de la Cité, Paris

Impression: British Museum
British Museum
Number: 63
Date: 1859
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 204 x 294 mm
Signed: 'Whistler -' at lower left
Inscribed: 'Dec. 1859.' and 'Paris de la Galerie d'Op' at lower left
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 11
Catalogues: K.60; M.60; T.19; W.55
Impressions taken from this plate  (11)


It was not published.


The first known exhibition was in 1881 when Graphic with a link to impression #K0600113 one impression was lent as 'Paris. From window of Louvre. Unfinished' to the Union League Club in New York by Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904). 19

It was exhibited in New York by H. Wunderlich & Co. in 1898. Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) lent one to the show organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0600109). 20 Both Obach & Co., in London, and Wunderlich's in New York, exhibited impressions in 1903. 21

Impressions were then shown in the Memorial Exhibitions after Whistler's death, in the Grolier Club in New York in 1904 and by the Copley Society in Boston in the same year. One impression from the Royal Collection was shown at the Whistler Memorial show in London in 1905. 22

19: New York 1881 (cat. no. 78).

20: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 51). See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

21: London Obach 1903 (cat. no. 62); New York 1903b (cat. no. 46).

22: New York 1904a (cat. no. 57); Boston 1904 (cat. no. 49); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 78).


The British Museum bought an impression from Percy Thomas (1846-1922) on 13 July 1872 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0600112). 23 Samuel Putnam Avery (1822-1904) may have acquired his impression around the same time (Graphic with a link to impression #K0600113). William Drake (1817-1890) owned one that was, much later, bought by Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0600105).

23: B.M. Print Room Register of Purchases... 1872.

Wedmore noted 'It is so rare that it has scarcely appeared in any sale; but twenty guineas [£21.0.0] were long since offered for it privately.' 24

An 'early impression, rare', from the collection of Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0600108), was sold at auction in the John W. Wilson (dates unknown) sale at Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, 22 April 1887 (lot 196) and bought by the London art dealers Messrs Dowdeswell for £5.15.0. Whistler himself sold one on 6 April 1891 to H. Wunderlich & Co. for the comparatively low price of £4.4.0. 25 Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought an impression - not a good one, but one that had slipped in the printing and was on dirty and torn paper - in 1903 from Obach & Co., London (Graphic with a link to impression #K0600103). 26

24: Wedmore 1886 A (cat. no. 55).

25: Whistler to H. Wunderlich, 6 April 1891 and 10 June 1891, GUW #13097, #13060.

26: Receipts, 9 December 1903 and 6 January 1904, FGA.

Impressions from the cancelled plate were acquired by several collectors including Francis Bullard (1862-1913) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0600104), John Caldwell (fl. 1887-1907) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0600111) and Bernard Buchanan MacGeorge (1845?-1924) (Graphic with a link to impression #K0610201).