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Courtyard, Rue P. L. Courier, Tours

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 391
Date: 1888
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 147 x 81 mm
Signed: butterfly above centre
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 9
Catalogues: K.368; M.369
Impressions taken from this plate  (9)


Courtyard, Rue P.L.Courier was never published. However, it is closely related to Whistler's unpublished 'Renaissance Set'.


It was first exhibited by the print dealers H. Wunderlich & Co., New York, in 1898. 9 Otherwise it was rarely exhibited. An impression was lent by Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) to the exhibition organised by the Caxton Club in Chicago in 1900 (). 10

Finally, after Whistler's death, it was shown in the comprehensive Grolier Club exhibition in New York in 1904 and in the Whistler Memorial show in London in 1905. 11

9: New York 1898 (cat. no. 258).

10: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 289).

11: New York 1904a (cat. no. 391); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 351).


The price was set at 8.8.0 and Whistler's first sale was on 21 January 1889 to Messrs Dowdeswell, London art dealers, followed by one to the collector Charles John Knowles (1840-1900) on 17 February, and on 27 March and 21 May to the Fine Art Society, London. 12 The one sold to Knowles was later bequeathed by Guy John Fenton Knowles (1879-1959) to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge ().

Whistler also sold several to H. Wunderlich & Co., New York, on 6 April 1891, and later, for 6.6.0, in 1899, 1900 and 1901. 13 Bryan Lathrop (1844-1916) owned an impression by 1900, possibly bought from Wunderlich's (). The artist also bequeathed an impression to Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), who gave it to the University of Glasgow, with the copper plate, in 1935 ().

12: GUW #13030, #13050; Whistler to E.G. Brown, GUW #13000, #13001.

13: GUW #13097; Wunderlich's to Whistler, 24 March 1899, #07305; 6 April 1900, #07322; 16 April 1901, #07330.

Early collectors probably included John Caldwell (fl. 1887-1907), who owned an early impression later bequeathed by William P. Chapman Jr to Cornell University (). In the early years of the 20th century other major collectors gradually acquired impressions: Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) finally obtained an impression in 1907 from Obach & Co. (); Boston Public Library got one in 1919 (); followed by Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971) who gave one to the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (); and Claude Wampler (1895), who gave another to the Syracuse University Art Galleries ().