Fish Women, Ostend

Impression: Colby College Museum of Art, Maine
Colby College Museum of Art, Maine
Number: 349
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 96 x 133 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 3
Catalogues: K.349; M.349
Impressions taken from this plate  (3)


It was not published.


It was exhibited as 'Fish Market, Ostend' by the print dealers H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898. 13

Another impression (its identity confirmed by the size and description given in the catalogue) was entitled 'Fisherwomen, Ostend' when lent by John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) to the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905. 14

13: New York 1898 (cat. no. 259). See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

14: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 374).


An impression, listed as 'Fishwomen' and priced at £6.6.0, was sold by Whistler to the London print dealer Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832), in February 1888. 15

An unidentified etching called 'Fish Woman - Brussels' - which may in fact be Fish Women, Ostend - was bought by H. Wunderlich & Co. for £6.6.0, on behalf of a relative of the artist, Ross Revillon Winans (1850-1912). 16

15: Whistler to McLean, [11 February 1888], GUW #13018.

16: G. Dieterlen to Whistler, 3 May 1888, GUW #07158.

It is extremely rare, with single impressions bought by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3490104), and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3490102), the latter as late as 1903. In his ledger noting the owners of Whistler's etchings, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) includes but a single collector of this etching: Ralph Wormeley Curtis (1854-1922), who bought an impression in 1899 for $30. 17 The only other located print is in the Library of Congress (Graphic with a link to impression #K3490103).

17: Kennedy Ledger, Colby College, fol. 381.