Hôtel Lallement, Bourges

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 396
Date: 1888
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 165 x 271 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 7
Catalogues: K.399; M.398
Impressions taken from this plate  (7)


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 However, it is considered part of Whistler's unpublished 'Renaissance Set'.


It was among works selected by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) for exhibition in the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago: he himself owned a fine impression (Graphic with a link to impression #K3970101) and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) had two, a first and second state (Graphic with a link to impression #K3970103, Graphic with a link to impression #K3990202). 11 Mansfield wrote to Whistler:

11: Chicago 1893 (cat. no. 2261).

'My plan is to borrow from Mr. Freer, Mr. Avery, Mr. Havemeyer and Mr. Vanderbilt the best obtainable impressions, making up the selection from my own collection. And I hope to be able to go to Chicago with the etchings and to see to their framing and hanging'. 12

12: 10 January 1893, GUW #04000. See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

An impression was exhibited and for sale by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 and (twice) in 1903, and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought one from them in that year (Graphic with a link to impression #K3970103). 13

The variations in title make it hard to identify exhibitions of this work. It was shown at the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900, lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3990302). 14 Two years later an impression was exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, lent by Mansfield (Graphic with a link to impression #K3970101). 15

Impressions also appeared in the Memorial shows after Whistler's death, in New York and Boston in 1904, Paris and London in 1905. Mansfield lent his impression once more, to the Boston Memorial in 1904 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3990101), and Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) to the Rotterdam show of 1906 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3990303). 16

13: New York 1898 (cat. no. 242).

14: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 295).

15: Philadelphia 1902 (cat. no. 947 (274)).

16: Boston 1904 (cat. no. 219); Rotterdam 1906 (cat. no. 66).


Whistler printed this immediately on his return from the Loire valley, and sold it for a high price, £12.12.0 a time. On 10 December 1888 he sold two impressions to Messrs Dowdeswell, London art dealers, and in the following year, one to H. Wunderlich & Co. of New York on 16 April 1889. 17 Some dealer's lists were numbered, and Whistler wrote the number on the verso of the print, for easier identification. Thus on 16 April 1889 the list includes 'Hotel Allement' as No. 11 of 18 etchings sold, and this was an impression of the second state inscribed 'First State. Early Proof' on the recto and 'No 11' on the verso and it was bought from Wunderlich's by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) on 3 May 1889 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3990202).

17: GUW #13656, #13055, #13080.

Another was sold by Whistler to the Fine Art Society, London, on 29 May 1889, acting on the specific request of a collector who had apparently seen Freer's impression and sketched and described it as follows:
'I want two of your etchings for a customer and he describes them thus:- A courtyard shaped like this, with lower part of a sort of turret in the corner, large stone rosettes on the side and a woman and child near centre and a child by a bench in the background to the left. It has number 11 on the back in pencil')'. 18

18: E.G. Brown to Whistler, 29 May 1889, GUW #01127, and Whistler's invoice, #01126.

And on 20 July 1889 Whistler sold an impression to Knoedler & Co. which included 'Hotel Allement', No. 15 of 18 etchings sold, which can be identified as an impression of the third state, marked '(No 15)' (Graphic with a link to impression #K3990304). 19 It was bought by John Henry Wrenn (1841-1911), and some years later by Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971) who gave it to the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

19: GUW #13080.

At the Sotheby's sale of the collection of the late Joshua Hutchinson Hutchinson (ca 1829 - d.1891) on 3 March 1892, the London print dealer Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) paid only £7.7.6 for an impression, which was reasonable (and slightly higher than average) for an auction price.
After Whistler's death Freer bought the first proof of Hôtel Lallemant, Bourges from Wunderlich's (Graphic with a link to impression #K3970103). Other early collectors included Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3970101) and, by 1900, Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) (Graphic with a link to impression #K3990302). One impression - a unique impression of the final, fourth state - was left by Whistler to his sister-in-law, Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), who gave it to the University of Glasgow in 1935 (Graphic with a link to impression #K3990303).