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Children, Amboise

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 432
Date: 1888
Medium: etching
Size: 81 x 149 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper centre
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.381; M.380
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)


baby, children, door, house.


Three different titles are recorded, as follows:

'Babies Amboise' (1888, Whistler). 1
'Children Amboise' (1890/1891, Whistler). 2
'Doorway, Touraine' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 3
'Children, Amboise' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 4
'Doorway, Touraine' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 5

'Children, Amboise' is the preferred title, and is based on Whistler's title, confirmed by his sister-in-law, Miss Birnie Philip. The title used by Mansfield and other later cataloguers is less precise although it is true that Amboise is in Touraine; their title could, however, lead to confusion between this and other doorways.

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

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

3: Kennedy 1902[more] (cat. no. 329).

4: Envelope containing copper plate, University of Glasgow.

5: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 380).


Two children, one holding a baby, are sitting on the pavement in front of an open doorway at far right. At left is a window, the right half of which is open, and a curtain with frilled edge is seen behind the panes at left. The window has louvred shutters open at each side.


Amboise is a commune east of Tours in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France, where an 11th century chateau guarded a vital bridge over the Loire. By 1873, having changed hands many times, it was in some disrepair and a major effort to repair it was made by Louis-Philippe’s heirs.


A similar composition is seen in Petticoat Lane 299. Without the title, it would be impossible to identify the nationality of the children or the site.