Flower Market, Brussels

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 339
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 179 x 67 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 5
Catalogues: K.359; M.358
Impressions taken from this plate  (5)


It was not published officially, but is considered part of a 'Brussels Set'.


Flower Market, Brussels was first exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists when Whistler was enjoying, or enduring, his brief spell as President. 14 It was rare and was rarely available for exhibition. Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) may have lent an impression to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900. 15 However, he or the Club may have been mistaken in recording the title, because as far as is known, Lathrop did not own an impression of Flower Market, Brussels - he had a similar format etching, Gold House, Brussels (Graphic with a link to impression #K3600102).

14: London RBA 1887-8 (cat. no. 527). See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

15: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. E294)

Impressions of Flower Market, Brussels were also shown after Whistler's death by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1903 and the Grolier Club, also in that city, in 1904, and in the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905, lent by Messrs. F. Keppel & Co. 16

16: New York 1903b (cat. no. 233), New York 1904a (cat. no. 386); London Mem. 1905 ( 346).


Whistler sold one impression of what he then called 'Flower Market' on 17 November 1887 to the London print dealer, Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832), for £10.10.0. 17 One was offered to Craibe Angus & Son in Glasgow at the same price, but it is not known if they took it. 18 Whistler sold another as 'Flower Market - Brussels' on 3 May 1888 to H. Wunderlich & Co., New York, for £10.10.0; it was No.4 in a large group of 62 prints purchased by them. 19 Finally he sold an impression to the London print dealer Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) for £12.12.0 on 8 June 1903. 20

Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought an impression after Whistler's death, from Obach & Co., London, in November 1903 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3590102). Atherton Curtis (1863-1944) owned one, but where he got it is not known; it was given in 1943 to the Cabinet des estampes, Bibliothèque nationale de France (Graphic with a link to impression #K3590104). Cleveland Museum of Art acquired another in 1923 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3590105). In addition, Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) inherited one from the artist, which she gave to the University of Glasgow in 1935 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3590103).

17: GUW #13016.

18: C.J.W. Hanson to C.Angus, 16 December 1887, GUW #01959.

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

20: [17 June 1903], GUW #13042.