Rue de la Rochefoucault

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 434
Date: 1888
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 132 x 221 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left of centre
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 8
Catalogues: K.419; M.365
Impressions taken from this plate  (8)


Rue de la Rochefoucault was not published.


Whistler must have thought highly of this etching and exhibited it at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889 as 'Rue de la Rochefoucault, Paris'. 17

17: Paris Exp. Univ. 1889 (cat. no. 419).

Impressions of Rue de la Rochefoucault were exhibited by the print dealers H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898 and 1903. 18

Impressions were shown in the Memorial Exhibitions after Whistler's death. Impressions were lent by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) to the Boston Memorial Exhibition in 1904 (Graphic with a link to impression #K4190102), by John Charles Sigismund Day (1826-1908) to the London show in 1905, and by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) to Rotterdam in 1906 (Graphic with a link to impression #K4190205). 19

18: New York 1898 (cat. no. 262); see REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

19: Boston 1904 (cat. no. 212); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 316); Rotterdam 1906 (cat. no. 55).


On 10 December 1888 Whistler sold two impressions of 'Rue Rochefoucault first state' to Messrs Dowdeswell for £12.12.0 and £15.15.0. On the following day, however, he wrote to Walter Dowdeswell (1858-1929) asking him to return them: 'If you are anxious however to keep one as a first state, I must certainly ask you fifteen guineas (£15- 15- 0) for it. In a day or two I can let you have others at the price I had given you viz twelve guineas (£12- 12- 0).' Dowdeswell's had already sold them, but managed to retrieve one of them and returned it to Whistler a week later. 20

20: 10 and 19 December 1888, GUW #13029, #13656, #00911.

In the following year, Whistler sold impressions to the collector John Postle Heseltine (1843-1929), H. Wunderlich & Co., another collector, Samuel Joshua (1833 or 1834 - d. 1907), and the Paris art dealer, Durand-Ruel at the same price. 21 The impression sold to Wunderlich's was 'No. 6' in their list of purchases on 16 April 1889, and that number appears on the second proof of the first state, which was bought by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) (Graphic with a link to impression #K4190102). Whistler sold more impressions to H. Wunderlich & Co., his main American art dealers, at £10.10.0 in 1894, 1900 and 1901. 22

Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) bought an impression on 19 June 1902 from Frederick Keppel (1845-1912) of F. Keppel & Co. (Graphic with a link to impression #K4190203). Other collectors included John Caldwell (fl. 1887-1907) (Graphic with a link to impression #K4190201) and - years later - Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971) (Graphic with a link to impression #K4190207).

21: 20 January, 16 April, 14 June and 13 December 1889, GUW #13037, #13055, #13036, #09068.

22: [January/June 1894], 6 April 1900, 6 April 1901, GUW #07271, #07322, #07330.

One had remained in Whistler's estate and was inherited by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), who in turn bequeathed it to the University of Glasgow (Graphic with a link to impression #K4190205).