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The Mill

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 457
Date: 1889
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 161 x 241 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 6
Known impressions: 13
Catalogues: K.413; M.415
Impressions taken from this plate  (13)


canal, interior, landscape, paint mill, windmill, woman, worker.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'The Mill' (1890, Whistler). 1
'Mill The Amsterdam' (1890/1891, Whistler). 2
'Interior of Mill' (1890/1892, Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896)). 3
'The Mill' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 4
'The Mill, Amsterdam' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 5

'The Mill' is the approved title, based on Whistler's original title. The Mill was probably not actually in Amsterdam, so the city name should not be included in the title.

1: Whistler to C. L. Freer, 4 March 1890, GUW #13065.

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

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

4: Kennedy 1902[more] (cat. no. 358).

5: Envelope containing copper plate, University of Glasgow.


The interior of a wooden windmill, with massive timber pillars and braces supporting the beams of the ceiling and upper floor. At the back, at left, is a wide double doorway opening onto a short jetty over a canal. Beyond are flat meadows, a cow, and in the distance, three windmills. Brushes, clogs, buckets and jars are piled by the door, and clothes hang on the wall at left. To right of the door, near a window, is a seated figure, possibly a woman, in profile to right. In the foreground to right of centre full sacks are piled up, and behind and to right of these, a woman is standing with a sack, possibly filling or tying the top. To right the machinery of the mill is visible, and at upper right, the tower, with small windows in the sloping sides.


A paint mill, probably De Duinjager, in the Zaanstreek, the area round Zaandam, Netherlands. 6

6: Heijbroek 1997[more], pp. 71, 75.


This is one of several work-place interiors etched by Whistler, which include W. Jones, Lime-Burner, Thames Street 055, The Forge 086, The Little Forge, Liverpool 141, Wheelwright 240 and The Smithy 239.