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Grand'Place, Brussels

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 335
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 222 x 143 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 15
Catalogues: K.362; M.354; W.251
Impressions taken from this plate  (15)


architecture, Baroque, building, city, market, palace, people, sculpture, square, stall, streetscape, vegetables.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'Grand Place' (1887/1888, Whistler). 1
'Grands Place Brussels' (1890/1891, Whistler). 2
'Grande Place, Brussels' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 3
''Grand'Place, Brussels'' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 4

'Grand'Place, Brussels' is the preferred title.

1: List, [1887/1888], GUW #13233.

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

3: Wedmore 1886 A (cat. no. 251).

4: Mansfield 1909 (cat. no. 354).


A view across a broad open space, with figures walking and talking across it, to a row of tall buildings, each with double stairways to the entrances, each ornamented with decorative low-relief panels. The central building has tall windows separated by columns that support a semi-circular pediment adorned with a frieze of sculptured figures. Above this runs a balustrade surmounted by four great urns. The building at right has part of a sign that reads 'SALLE DE VENTE DEN...'


Grand'Place, the main square in Brussels, capital of Belgium. The etching shows the 'Maison dite des Ducs de Brabant' on the east side of the Grand'Place, an ensemble of seven houses (nos 13-19) behind a monumental façade, designed by Guillaume de Bruyn. It was in course of restoration at the time of Whistler's visit to Brussels. The sign on the building at right refers to a sale room ('SALLE DE VENTE').