The Clock Tower - Amboise

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 429
Date: 1888
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 178 x 127 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 10
Catalogues: K.394; M.394
Impressions taken from this plate  (10)


It was never published. However, it is considered part of Whistler's unpublished 'Renaissance Set'.


It was first 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 #K3940103). 13

After Whistler's death, an impression was lent by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) to the Whistler Memorial show in Boston in 1904 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940103). 14 Impressions were also included in the comprehensive Grolier Club show in New York in 1904 and at the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905. 15

13: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 260).

14: Boston 1904 (cat. no. 223).

15: New York 1904a (cat. no. 383); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 343).


Whistler first sold an impression on 17 February 1889 to Charles John Knowles (1840-1900) for £8.8.0. 16 He then sold a couple to dealers at the same price, the first on 27 March 1889 to the London art firm, The Fine Art Society, being No. 6 of 24 etchings sold. 17 Then they may have bought another or merely confirmed this sale on 21 May. 18 In any case one impression was bought on 24 May by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940103) and the number '6' written on the verso appears to confirm the sale. However '6' is also written on the verso of the impression bought by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), and this may also have come from the F.A.S. (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940111). Whistler sold another among 18 impressions to Knoedler & Co. in July 1889. 19 This may have been one marked '1st State - Early proof' which bears Knoedler's stock number 33003 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940z01).

Whistler gave one impression to Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940105) and sold several more impressions to Kennedy's firm, H. Wunderlich & Co., his main dealers in New York. The first two, on 16 April 1889 ('15' in a list of 18 sold) and 6 April 1891 cost £8.8.0 each; the next, in the summer of 1897 was only £7.7.0; and the last, in 1900, was back to £8.8.0. 20 Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) almost certainly bought his impression from Wunderlich's, since it bears their stock no. 35398 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940102). In 1903 David A. Kennedy (fl.1895-1915) asked Whistler for another impression, but there is no record of one being available. 21

16: GUW #13050.

17: Whistler to Ernest George Brown (1853/1854-1915), GUW #13000.

18: Whistler to F.A.S., GUW #13001.

19: Whistler to R. F. Knoedler, 27 July 1889, GUW #13660.

20: GUW #13055, #13097; September 1897, #07287; 16 April 1901, #07330.

21: 27 March 1903, GUW #07340.

Early collectors included Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940112); Douglas H. Campbell (1859-1952) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940107); Atherton Curtis (1863-1944) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940106); Guy John Fenton Knowles (1879-1959) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940110); Pauline Kohlsaat Palmer (1882-1956) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940z02); and Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940105).
An impression printed by Nathaniel Sparks (1880-1956) in 1931 was bequeathed by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) to the University of Glasgow (Graphic with a link to impression #K3940104).