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Under the Cathedral, Blois

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 428
Date: 1888
Medium: etching
Size: 217 x 130 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 3
Catalogues: K.397; M.396
Impressions taken from this plate  (3)


cathedral, people, shop, street, town.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'Cathedral, Blois' (1888, Whistler). 1
'Under Cathedral - Blois' (1889, Whistler). 2
'Cathedral' (1889, Whistler). 3
'Under the Cathedral, Blois' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 4
'Notre Dame, Bourges' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 5

This is Blois, not Bourges, and 'Under the Cathedral, Blois' is the preferred title.

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

2: Whistler to Wunderlich's, 14 and 24 May 1889, GUW #13056.

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

4: Kennedy 1902[more] (cat. no. 345).

5: Envelope containing copper plate, University of Glasgow.


At the left, on the corner of a narrow street, stands a three-storey building, with an open doorway reached by steps, an open window in the first storey, and a small open window above. There are figures in the door and the window above it. To right is a smaller house with a dormer window in the roof. At the end of the street is a house of four stories that has shuttered windows on the first and second floors and a dormer-window in its pointed roof. At the right of this house rises a flight of steps, with figures in the space in front. Behind this house rises the spire of the cathedral.


Blois is a town in the Loire valley, France. The façade and the belltower of the Cathédrale Saint-Louis de Blois were built in 1544. The nave, destroyed in a hurricane, was rebuilt between 1680 and 1700 under the architect Arnoult-Séraphin Poictevin (d. 1720).