Home > The Catalogue > Browse > Subjects > Etchings > Etching

The Market, Bruges

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 354
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 99 x 136 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 3
Catalogues: K.351; M.351; W.255
Impressions taken from this plate  (3)


architecture, carriage, church, horse, market, people, sculpture, square.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'The Market, Bruges' (1887/1888, Whistler). 1
'Town Hall Bruges' (1890/1891, Whistler). 2
'Market Place, Bruges' (1899, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 3
'Market-Place, Bruges' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 4

This shows the market place in Bruges, not the Hotel de Ville, and so the first title used by Whistler, 'The Market, Bruges', is preferred.

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

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

3: Wedmore 1899[more] (cat. no. 255).

4: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 351).


In the foreground is a wide square, with several women wearing shawls at right, and numerous figures and several horse-drawn carriages to left, and the suggestion of a dog in the near foreground. At the far side of the square is the market hall; the wide arched entrance had elaborate carvings and statues, windows, and a window with a balcony high above it. To left and right of the door there are rows of gothic arched windows on the ground and first floor, and small square windows on the third floor. Steep roofs and a bell tower rise above the roof. On a side street at the left are two four-storey houses, and beyond them, the spire of a church.


Etching: c_K351_02
Bell Tower, Bruges, 1910/1930, postcard, private collection.
The 13th century Cloth Hall and bell-tower (extended, burnt down and restored several times) dominate the Grote Markt (Grande Place, market-place), in Bruges, Belgium. The spire of the Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk), one of the highest in Europe, dating from the 13th-15th centuries, on the Vrouwekerkhof Zuid, is on the left (the view is reversed in the print). Whistler was probably sitting in the café recommended by Baedeker, looking south, with a view diagonally across the square. The statue now in the centre of the square, but not included in Whistler's view, was erected in 1887.
Etching: c_K351_01
The Grote Markt, Bruges, 2011.
Photograph © Whistler Etchings Project, 2011.