Café Corazza, Paris

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 484
Date: 1897
Medium: etching
Size: 133 x 221 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 4
Catalogues: K.436; M.432
Impressions taken from this plate  (4)


café, shop, streetscape, tree.


Some variations in address and punctuation given in the title are as follows:

'Café Corazza - Paris' (1903, Whistler). 3
'Café Corazza, Paris' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 4
'Café Corazza, Palais Royal' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 5

'Café Corazza, Paris' is based on the title authorised by the artist.

3: R. B. Philip on Whistler's behalf, to R. Dunthorne, [17 June 1903], GUW #13042.

4: Envelope containing copper plate, Hunterian Art Gallery.

5: Mansfield 1909 (cat. no. 432).


In the foreground are two trees in full leaf. Behind this are railings to left and right of steps leading to a tall arched entrance. To left and right are large windows with the restaurant name partly visible: 'C-RAZZA' on the left and '--ORAZZA' on the right, and 'RESTAURA --' and another partly legible sign, possibly reading '--SUC--' over the door.


The Cafe Corazza is in the Palais Royale, Paris, and is still in operation (2012).
Comparative image
Photograph ©G.Petri, Whistler Etchings Project.
It was a famous café: it opened in 1797 and was the headquarters of the Jacobins, and often visited by Napoléon Bonaparte. It was founded by a 'glacier' Corazza and run as a restaurant by Giudicelli and Eugène Douix, 'ancien cuisinier' of Charles X. Later it was owned by M. Schmidt and run by T. Chevalier and known for its 'bonne cuisine'. 6

Whistler frequented it in the 1890s - indeed he used their notepaper (headed CAFÉ CORAZZA / RESTAURANT DOUIX / 12, GALERIE MONTPENSIER / PALAIS-ROYAL / PARIS) when writing to William Heinemann (1863-1920) and William Webb (b. ca 1851) in 1894. 7 In a later letter he mentioned to Miss Birnie Philip, 'the little fat waiter with side whiskers who used to wait upon us at the corner table of the Cafe Corrazza'. 8

6: Roger Sandoz, Le Palais-Royal d'apres documents inedits, II, Depuis la Revolution jusqu'a nos jours, Paris, 1900, pp. 122-3.

7: 13 September 1894, GUW #06202.

8: [26 July 1897], GUW #04712.


Other café scenes by Whistler include an early etching, Soupe à trois sous [64], a lithograph The Little Café au Bois [c091], dating from 1894, another late etching, Café Luxembourg [436], and late drawings, Man sitting at an outdoor café table [m1635] and The Café - Algiers [m1651].