The Little Nurse, Grays Inn

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 286
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 133 x 97 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 8
Catalogues: K.302; M.297
Impressions taken from this plate  (8)


It was never published, although it is considered part of a 'Grey's Inn Set'.


Although it is a fairly small and rare etching, an impression was selected for exhibition with Les XX in Brussels in 1888. 11 It is an interesting choice for an avant-garde exhibition in the Belgian capital city. Impressions were exhibited by H. Wunderlich & Co., in New York, in 1898 and 1903, and by Obach's in London in 1903. 12 Two impressions were exhibited by the Caxton Club in 1900 as 'The Little Nurse, Grays Inn', lent by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3020103) and Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3020102). 13

Thereafter it was shown at the Memorial Exhibitions held after Whistler's death, including the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, and in London in 1905 (lent by John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908)). 14

11: Brussels 1888 (cat. no. 8).


13: Chicago 1900 (cat. nos. 241, 241a).

14: New York 1904a (cat. no. 309); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 307).


Whistler sold impressions for £6.6.0. The first sales were on 21 December 1887 and in February 1888 to the London print dealer, Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832). 15

Whistler then recorded the sale of impressions to New York print dealers H. Wunderlich & Co. on 3 and 14 May 1888, 16 and on 2 July 1888 to Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) of F. Keppel & Co. 17 Later he sold more impressions to Wunderlich's for a discounted price of £4.4.0 in 1899. 18 Wunderlich's sold an impression to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) on 1 May 1888, and at some time sold another to A. Augustus Healy (1850-1921), which he later gave to the Brooklyn Museum of Art (Graphic with a link to impression #K3020111).

Other American collectors included Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3020102) and Henry Harper Benedict (1844-1935) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3020105). The latter was later sold through Knoedler & Co. and bought by Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971), who gave it to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

15: GUW #13017, #13018.

16: GUW #07158, #13659.

17: GUW #13063.

18: Wunderlich's to Whistler, 24 March 1899, GUW #07305.