Little Nocturne, Amsterdam

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 456
Date: 1889
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 135 x 99 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 4
Catalogues: K.414; M.413
Impressions taken from this plate  (4)


It was not published. It is related to the unpublished 'Amsterdam Set'.


It was very rare and rarely exhibited. Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) may have exhibited an impression in 1890, and an impression was certainly shown at the Grolier Club in New York in 1890, lent by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), who also lent it to the Caxton Club in 1900 (Graphic with a link to impression #K4140104). 11

It was also shown after Whistler's death, in the comprehensive exhibition in the Grolier Club, New York, 1904 and again in the Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905. 12

11: London Dunthorne 1890; New York 1890a, Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 254). See REFERENCES: EXHIBITIONS.

12: New York 1904a (cat. no. 291); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no 359).


In 1890 or 1891 Whistler recorded that he had three unmounted and one mounted impression of 'Little Amsterdam', priced at £10.10.0. 13 This was a comparatively high price, but it was the same as that for Little Drawbridge, Amsterdam [448] and Zaandam [458]. One impression of 'The Little Amsterdam' was sent by Whistler to South Kensington Museum on 2 July 1890 and returned by them on 21 August. 14

13: List, [1890/1891], GUW #13236.

14: GUW #13044.

Whistler sold what he again called 'Little Amsterdam' on 21 February 1891 to Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) for £10.10.0. 15

15: GUW #00920.

A couple of years later London art dealers, the Fine Art Society, bought 'Nocturne (Little)' on 18 April 1893 also for £10.10.0. 16 This may have been the one bought from Wunderlich & Co. of New York by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) on 19 June 1893 (Graphic with a link to impression #K4140104). One of these must have been the impression that was acquired by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K4140105).

16: FAS to Whistler, GUW #01259.

Finally one remained in Whistler's studio and was bequeathed to Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) who in turn bequeathed it to the University of Glasgow (Graphic with a link to impression #K4140102).