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Archway, Brussels

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 344
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 127 x 217 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 6
Catalogues: K.366; M.361
Impressions taken from this plate  (6)


archwaybaker, children, , people, shop, streetscape.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'Archway' (1887/1888, Whistler). 2
'Archway The Brussels' (1890/1891, Whistler). 3
'Archway, Brussels' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 4
'Archway, Brussels' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 5

'Archway, Brussels' is the generally accepted title.

1: Etched on the copper plate.

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

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

4: Kennedy 1902 (cat. no. 350).

5: Mansfield 1909 (cat. no. 361).


At the left of an archway is a shop with two show-windows full of pots, bags, bottles and miscellaneous goods on four shelves. To right of the windows is the open shop doorway reached by three steps. Over the shop is a sign reading: 'VANDENBROECK · DE BECKER · BOULANGER · 337.' In the centre, through the arch, is a narrow street. The buildings on the right side of the street are visible, including a shop with goods on a shelf below the window. To right of the archway is a house with two tall, narrow windows.
There is a woman seated on the shop steps, with a child in front of her, and three men and a child are standing near them, to right, including one who appears to be in uniform. A man is seated near two women standing by the wall of the house at the right. Several women and children with babes in arms sit and stand in the street in front and in the street seen through the arch.


Comparative image
337 rue Haute / Hoogestraat (later no. 369) and the entrance to the Impasse des Liserons, in the city of Brussels, capital of Belgium.
Whistler etched several subjects from the working-class quarters of Les Marolles in Brussels. The Archway shows the bakery of M. Vandenbroeck at 337, rue Haute ('High Street'), next to the narrow archway leading to the Impasse des Liserons ('Bindweed Lane'). The house of the bakery ('boulanger') was later renumbered 369, rue Haute. Between 1951 and 1966 the 'Foyer Bruxellois', by Charles Van Nueten (1899-1989), was constructed on the site.