The Market Place, Tours

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 388
Date: 1888
Medium: etching
Size: 271 x 136 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 3
Catalogues: K.374; M.374
Impressions taken from this plate  (3)


It was not published, but it is closely related to the etchings in the 'Renaissance Set'.


There are no records of exhibitions in Whistler's lifetime. It was, however, exhibited at the Memorial Exhibitions after his death, in Boston in 1904 and London in 1905, and was also lent by Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) to the comprehensive Grolier Club exhibition in New York in 1904. 16

16: Boston 1904 (cat. no. 215); New York 1904a (cat. no. 359); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 322).


On 20 July 1889 Whistler sold several etchings to the print dealer, Roland F. Knoedler (1856-1932), including 'Market Place - Tours' at £8.8.0 and 'Little Market Place - Tours' at £6.6.0. In the list of etchings, they are numbered '7' and '8' respectively. 17

Curiously, one impression - actually the first proof - is numbered '7' (Graphic with a link to impression #K3740102). Museum records state that it was owned originally by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) and sold through the Fine Art Society, London, to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) in 1889. This may have been incorrect; Freer wrote the title 'Market Place - / Loches -' on the verso, which was also incorrect. However this does suggest that the sales records can not be treated as completely definitive.

17: Whistler to Knoedler, GUW #13080.

In any case, three days later, on 23 July 1889, Whistler sold Mansfield an impression of 'Market Place - Tours' for £8.8.0 with eight other etchings (a total of £88.4.0). 18 This is a fine, carefully wiped, delicate impression (Graphic with a link to impression #K3740104). It was later sold through A.A. Hahlo & Co. to Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937), and later bought by the Library of Congress.

18: GUW #13046.

Wunderlich's 'Report of Sales to date' in 1899 included 'Market Place - Tours ?' (apparently they were not sure of the title) at £10.10.0, and in the following year 'Market Place, Tours' priced at £8.8.0 appears in a 'List of Prints, bought as per your memo: of July 20th 1900' (unfortunately Whistler's memo has not been located). 19 Wunderlich's account number '34082' was given to this sale.

19: Wunderlich's to Whistler, 24 March 1899, 16 April 1901, GUW #07305, #07330.

The only other known impression was bought by Berthe Honorée Palmer (1849-1918) and is in a private collection (Graphic with a link to impression #K3740z01).