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Hôtel de Ville, Loches

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 412
Date: 1888
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 270 x 165 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 5
Catalogues: K.384; M.384
Impressions taken from this plate  (5)


Hotel de Ville, Loches was never published. However, it is considered part of Whistler's unpublished 'Renaissance Set'.


An impression was lent by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) to the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893 - where a large panel was devoted to Whistler's etchings - and to an exhibition organised by the Caxton Club at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1900 (). 8

Freer's major rival as collector of Whistler's etchings, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938), lent his impression to the first annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of Art in 1902 () and to the Boston Memorial Exhibition in 1904 after Whistler's death. 9 Another impression was also shown in the comprehensive Grolier Club exhibition in New York in 1904. 10

8: Chicago 1893 (cat. no. 2262 (1680)); Chicago 1900 (cat. no. 256). See REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

9: Philadelphia 1902 (cat. no. 947 (272)); Boston 1904 (cat. no. 226).

10: New York 1904a (cat. no. 379).


Whistler sold several impressions over a short period in 1889 for £12.12.0 each. He sold one to Charles John Knowles (1840-1900) on 17 February; to the Fine Art Society, London, on 27 March (No. 9 of 24 etchings and lithographs sold) and 21 May; on 16 April 1889 to H. Wunderlich & Co., New York (No. 4 of 18 etchings sold); and on 20 July 1889 to Knoedler & Co. (No. 11 in a list of etchings sold). 11

The Knowles impression was eventually bequeathed to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (). The Fine Art Society sold the etching listed as '9' on 24 May 1889 to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919) (). Knoedler's 'No.11' was bought by Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) and then Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937), and went eventually to the Library of Congress (). Wunderlich's 'No 4' went many years later to Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971), who gave it to the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (). These numbers were written on the verso, confirming the identity of the etchings sold.

11: GUW #13050; Whistler to E.G. Brown, #13000, #13001; #13055; #13660.

Another early purchaser was Margaret Selkirk Watson Parker (1867-1936) () whose impression was left to the University of Michigan Art Museum.