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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)


arch, architecture, bird, building, clocktower, market, people, Renaissance architecture, stall, square, streetscape, town-hall.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'Hotel de Ville Loches' (1888, Whistler). 1
'Hotel de Ville' (1889, Whistler). 2
'City Hall, Loches' (1893, Chicago). 3
'Hôtel de Ville, Loches' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 4

'Hôtel de Ville, Loches' is the approved title, based on Whistler's title, with added punctuation. The Hôtel de Ville is the town hall.

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

2: Whistler to C. J. Knowles, 17-19 February 1889, GUW #13050.

3: Chicago 1893 (cat. no. 2262 (1680)).

4: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 384).


A view looking down on a busy market square with three- and four-storey buildings on each side, some with balconies on the first floor. People, pigeons and perhaps chickens throng the square, where goods are laid out on the ground and on stalls to right. At the far end the space narrows, ending in the massive steep-roofed Hôtel de Ville. This consists of a mediaeval stone castellated tower to left, with a clock, which reads about a quarter past 9 a.m. The roof is surmounted by a belfry, and has a dormer window at left and a small round turret to right. At the base of the tower is a tall archway with a lantern on the corner at right, leading from the market into a space beyond. Above the arch is a statue in a niche, a small window on the floor above, and on the third floor, an elaborate stone carved window frame. Adjoining the tower, to right, is a narrow façade with a broad arched entrance approached by steps. It has arched windows in three upper stories, and richly framed rectangular windows at the top, with an architectural ornament above.


The 15th century Porte Picois (Porte Picoys) and the Hotel de Ville (built 1535-1543) in the town of Loches, in the Loire valley, France. The Hôtel de Ville, constructed beside the porte Picois, was designed by the master mason Jean Beaudouin and built by André Fortin and Bernard Musnier.

Sources of information on the architecture include: Victor Petit, Chateaux de la Vallée de la Loire des XVe, XVIe et XVIIe siècles dessinés d'après nature par Victor Petit; Georges Monmarché, Les Chateaux de la Loire and Jean-Marie Pérouse de Montclos, Le guide du Patrimoine: Centre. Val de Loire and Hôtels de ville de France. 5

David Young Cameron (1865-1945) etched Loches (R.328) in 1903, the year of Whistler's death, showing the Porte Picoys with the Hôtel de Ville on the left. 6

5: Petit, Chateaux ...., II, Paris, 1861, pl. 56; Monmarché, Chateaux ..., Paris, 1924, p. 178-9; Montclos, Guide ... Paris, 1988, p. 417; Montclos, Hôtels ..., Paris, 2000, p. 97; see also Image 25994 on Nicolas Janberg's Structurae at (accessed 2010).

6: Frank Rinder, D. Y. Cameron. An Illustrated Catalogue of his Etchings and Drypoints, 1887-1932, Glasgow, 1932.