Palaces, Brussels

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 338
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 222 x 142 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 16
Catalogues: K.361; M.355; W.252
Impressions taken from this plate  (16)


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


One impression may have been exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists in 1887 during Whistler's Presidency, and was marked on the label as 'not for sale' (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610107). 8

An impression was lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) to the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, and to an exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610102). 9 Impressions were for sale in exhibitions by H. Wunderlich & Co., New York in 1893 and by Obach & Co. in London in 1903. 10

After the artist's death, impressions were shown at the Whistler Memorial Exhibitions, including the Grolier Club in New York in 1904 and in Paris in 1905. Albert W. Scholle (1860-1917) lent to the Boston show of 1904, Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934) to the London exhibition of 1905 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610103) and Ernest Marsh (fl. 1935) to an exhibition in Rotterdam in 1906. 11

8: London RBA 1887-8 (cat. no. unknown).

9: Chicago 1893 (cat. no. 2251 [1676] ); Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 218).


11: Boston 1904 (cat. no. 180); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 252); Rotterdam 1906 (cat. no. 87).


The price set by the artist was £12.12.0. Whistler sold an impression on 21 December 1887 to the London print-dealer Thomas M. McLean (b. ca 1832); on 1 and February 1888 to Messrs Dowdeswell; in May and September 1888 to H. Wunderlich & Co.; and on 27 July 1888 to Knoedler & Co. 12 Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought the etching - a first state - from Wunderlich's on 1 May 1888 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610104) and it was bequeathed with the rest of his collection to the Freer Gallery of Art. The Knoedler impression was bought by Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610112) and was later bequeathed by William P. Chapman Jr to Cornell University.

12: GUW #13017; [7 February 1888], #13026, #13027 ; #07158, #13659 and #13659; #13660.

Whistler also sold directly to some private collectors - one on 20 January 1889 to John Postle Heseltine (1843-1929), on 17 February 1889 to Charles John Knowles (1840-1900), and on 14 June 1889 to Samuel Joshua (1833 or 1834 - d. 1907). 13 Other early collectors included Henry Studdy Theobald (1847-1934) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610103), Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610102), Ralph King (1855-1926) and his wife (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610z03).

13: GUW #13037, #13050, #13036.

Whistler sold another impression on 6 March 1890 to Messrs Dowdeswell's for £12.12.0. 14 Impressions were sold by the artist to H. Wunderlich & Co. in September 1897, and more in 1899 and 1900. 15 Of the etchings that went through Wunderlich's hands, one (stock no. a 65627) was later bought by Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971), and given to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610107). Another was bought by Albert Henry Wiggin (1868-1951), for Boston Public Library (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610111). A third (stock no. a 35389) was bought by Pauline Kohlsaat Palmer (1882-1956), and bequeathed by Arthur Macdougall Wood (d. 2007) to the Art Institute of Chicago (Graphic with a link to impression #K3610202).

14: GUW #13805.

15: Wunderlich & Co. to Whistler, GUW #07287; 24 March 1899, #07305; 6 April 1900, #07322.

Finally an impression was sold by the artist on 24 December 1902 to the London print dealer Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851), still at the original price of £12.12.0. 16

16: GUW #13040.