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Château de Verneuil, Touraine

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 408
Date: 1888
Medium: etching
Size: 178 x 128 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 4
Catalogues: K.380; M.381
Impressions taken from this plate  (4)


building, chateau, garden, landscape, Renaissance architecture, tree.


The spelling of the title, particularly by Whistler, varied considerably, though the identity of the site was not, on the whole, in question:

'Chateau Verneuilee (French Plates)' (1887/1888, Whistler). 2
'Chateau Vernauille' (1889, Whistler). 3
'Chateau Verneuillee' (1890/1892, Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896)). 4
'Chateau de Verneuil, Touraine' (1901, Wunderlich's). 5
'Château Verneuil' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 6
'Château Verneuil, Loches' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 7
'Château Verneuil, Touraine' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 8

It does seem that, despite his inaccurate spelling, Whistler preferred the title 'Château Verneuil'. The town of Loches on the Loire is in Touraine, so the addition of the place name is helpful.

'Château de Verneuil, Touraine', as listed by Wunderlich's in 1901, is the most accurate of published titles, and was probably suggested by Whistler at that time, and so has been preferred over the titles proposed by Kennedy and Mansfield at a later date. There is, however, still a danger that the subject can be confused with other Loire subjects, such Château Touraine 410.

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

3: List, 18 July 1889, GUW #13235.

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

5: Wunderlich's to Whistler, 16 April 1901, GUW #07330.

6: Kennedy 1902[more] (cat. no. 354).

7: Envelope containing copper plate, Hunterian Art Gallery.

8: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 381).


In the foreground is a stretch of water, and on the far bank, a fence and trees, which are reflected in the water. The lantern-topped roofs and chimneys of the château rise above the trees to left.


The site has not been identified with certainty.
Verneuil-sur-Indre is a commune in the Loches arrondissement of Indre-et-Loire, in central France. In Whistler's time the ruins of the château were owned by Ferdinand Sangnier, who bought them on 2 April 1870. The small fortified town boasts 'a magnificent work in the most gorgeous style of the 15th century, surmounted by a lantern in two stages', the church Tour de la Madelaine. 9

Verneuil-le-chateau is another small commune in Indre-et- Loire. Nearby castles include Montpoupon, le Grand Presnigny, Montrésor, Le Guerche, La Calee Guénand. 10

Whistler etched several chateaux in the valley of the Loire, including Château de Bridoré 409 and Château Touraine 410.

9: John Murray, A Handbook for Travellers in France, 1875, pp 134-5.

10: Andre Ploix, Verneuil [Oise]. Chateau Royal oublie, ses pierres, ses hotes illustres, Paris, 1957.