Windsor (Memorial)

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 313
Date: 1887
Medium: drypoint
Size: 132 x 96 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 6
Catalogues: K.329; M.324; W.247
Impressions taken from this plate  (6)


Although not officially published, Windsor (Memorial) was included with the 'Naval Review Set' presented by Whistler to Queen Victoria (1819-1901), and sold to collectors, in 1887.


It was shown first in a print dealer's show, by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898. 7 An impression was exhibited in the show organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900, lent by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3290402). 8 Obach & Co. showed one in London in 1903.

Impressions also appeared in the Memorial Exhibitions after Whistler's death, as 'Windsor (Memorial)'. at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904, as 'Windsor' in Paris and with the curiously coy title 'Windsor (Where She Lives)' in London in 1905, the latter being lent from the Royal Collection (Graphic with a link to impression #K3290z02). 9

7: New York 1898 (cat. no. 231).

8: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 213).

9: New York 1904a (cat. no. 263); Paris Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 402); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 247).


The similarity in title between this drypoint and Windsor Castle [314] make it difficult to establish the early history. On 24 August 1887 Whistler sold two prints to the London print dealers Messrs Dowdeswell, with 'Windsor Castle' priced at £10.10.0 - which was a high price for a small drypoint - and a comparable drypoint, 'Little Chelsea' at £5.5.0. 10 It is likely that this was sold to Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934) and later went to America and into the collection of Clarence Buckingham (1855-1913) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3290302).

Shortly afterwards, on 5 October 1887, Whistler sold one 'Windsor Castle dry point' to the London print dealer Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832) for £10.10.0. 11 One impression was acquired, probably at this time, by the Royal Collection (Graphic with a link to impression #K3290z02).

Whistler sold another to Boussod, Valadon & Co. in London (who were not regular purchasers of his prints) in November 1887 and to H. Wunderlich & Co., New York, and Roland F. Knoedler (1856-1932) in the following summer. 12 In all Knoedler bought a selection of 24 prints for £247.16.0 less 20 per cent discount, making a total of £198.5.0 due to Whistler. It is possible that Whistler actually numbered these impressions to help the dealer identify them. Thus 'Windsor Castle - (dry point)' was 'No. 21' in the list for Knoedler, and one extant impression of the third state was inscribed by Whistler 'No. 21. / Rare - few proofs …' and signed with the butterfly on the verso (Graphic with a link to impression #K3290z01).

10: GUW #00893.

11: GUW #13014.

12: 19 November 1887, GUW #13038; 29 June 1888, #13052; 27 July 1888, #13660.

Wunderlich's, having bought one that same summer, which was sold to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3290402), then requested another impression, as they built up stocks in preparation for an exhibition. 13 Whistler's son replied:

13: 29 August 1888, GUW #07164.

'As Mr Whistler is abroad I attend to the etching department and send you the etchings you require except 'Windsor Castle (dry point) of which there are at present no more proofs ... but on Mr Whistler's return he will doubtless print a few more and then I shall send you the couple that you require'. 14

14: C. J. W. Hanson to Wunderlich's, 15 September 1888, GUW #03498.

It is not clear if Whistler did print any more or located some in the studio stocks, but it was some time before another sale was recorded, with one 'Windsor (Dry Point)' being sold to Wunderlich's for £12.12.0 on 28 April 1890, less the dealer's 20 percent discount. 15 Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) stamped his collector's mark on one impression of the fourth state, but this probably did not come direct from Whistler, but from the collection of Thomas Glen Arthur (1858-1907), which was acquired by Messrs Colnaghi & Obach (Graphic with a link to impression #K3290403). It was probably Kennedy that sold it to George Washington Vanderbilt (1862-1914), and it was eventually sold from the Vanderbilt collection at auction in 1974, and bought by the Hunterian Art Gallery for £189.0.0 to fill a gap in their huge Whistler collection.

15: GUW #13057.