Windows, Bourges

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 398
Date: 1888
Medium: etching
Size: 149 x 80 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 3
Catalogues: K.400; M.399
Impressions taken from this plate  (3)


Windows, Bourges was never published. However, it is closely related to Whistler's unpublished 'Renaissance Set'.


It was very rare and rarely exhibited. Impressions were shown by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 and 1903. 12

After Whistler's death, an impression was shown at the Grolier Club in New York in 1904. A set of the 'Renaissance' etchings, including Windows, Bourges, was lent by Ernest Marsh (fl. 1935) to the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905. 13

12: New York 1898 (cat. no. 241), New York 1903b (cat. no. 231).

13: New York 1904a (cat. no. 369); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 333).


By 10 December 1888 Whistler was selling impressions of some of the new Bourges prints to Messrs Dowdeswell, print dealers in London. 14

Windows, Bourges is rarely recorded among the Bourges etchings that were sold or exhibited in subsequent years - Hotel Lallement, Bourges, for instance, was better known. Even Windows opposite Hotel, Bourges [397], a similar subject, though incorporating more fully realised buildings and windows, was more popular. The sole impression of Windows, Bourges recorded was that sold in September 1897 for £3.3.0 to Wunderlich's of New York. 15 They may have sold it to Harry Brisbane Dick (1855-1916), who owned the impression reproduced by Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932) in 1910, which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 16

An impression from the 'Cox Collection' - possibly James Cox-Cox (ca 1849- d.1901) - was bought by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) from Obach & Co. on 11 July 1903 - six days before Whistler's death (Graphic with a link to impression #K4000102).

14: GUW #13029.

15: GUW #07287.

16: Kennedy 1910 (cat. no. 332).