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

Little Market Place, Tours

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 389
Date: 1888
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 128 x 178 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 5
Catalogues: K.375; M.375
Impressions taken from this plate  (5)


dog, courtyard, hotel, market, people, shop, square, stall, town.


There are only minor variations in grammar and punctuation in the title, as follows:

'Little Market place Tours' (1887/1888, Whistler). 1
'Little Market Place - Tours' (1889, Whistler). 2
'Little Market Place' (1890/1892, Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896)). 3
'Little Market-Place, Tours' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 4

'Little Market Place, Tours' is the preferred title, and is based on Whistler's original title.

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

2: Whistler to E.G. Brown, 27 March 1889, GUW #13000.

3: List, [1890/1892], GUW #12715.

4: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 375).


A cobbled market place, with booths under awnings on either side and three-storey houses at the left, with a street running across the end. On the far side of the street, from left to right, there is a three-storey house, a wide single-storey entrance to a courtyard under a large sign reading 'HOTEL'; a tall, two-storey high square-topped entrance to the same courtyard, with a plaque over it reading 'HALLES CENTRALES / RAIMOND [?] FILS'; and a two-storey symmetrical house with windows each side of the door, and windows with balconies each side of a plaque or signboard on the first floor. There are some people in the square and round the booths, and a dog in the foreground, at the left.


The 'Halles Centrales' (Central Market) in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France, was a large covered market in the Places des Halles, with stalls surrounding it.
Whistler recorded two etchings of the market, 'The Market Place Tours' and 'Little Market place Tours'. 5 The Market Place, Tours 388 shows a very different view, and is obviously not the same place.

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


During his honeymoon in 1888, Whistler etched several market scenes, small (The Market Place, Tours 388, Market Women: Turkeys 424, Booth, Market Place, Loches 425, Market Women, Loches 423), medium sized (Little Market Place, Tours 389) and large (Hôtel de Ville, Loches 412). He etched 'large' and 'small' market scenes in Loches and Tours. In 1890/1892 Whistler's wife (who was present on his honeymoon!) listed several similar subjects among his etchings in a comprehensive survey of the studio, including:
'Market women Loches, 1888
Market Place (Little). Tours. 1888
Market Place. The. Tours. 1888 ...
Market place (The - Large - ) Loches 1888' 6