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Windows opposite Hotel, Bourges

Impression: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Number: 397
Date: 1888
Medium: etching
Size: 100 x 67 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.401; M.400
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


Windows opposite hotel, Bourges was never published. However, it is related to Whistler's unpublished 'Renaissance Set'.


An impression was exhibited by the print dealers Obach & Co. in London in 1903. 11

After Whistler's death Windows opposite hotel, Bourges was shown in the Whistler Memorial Exhibitions, at the comprehensive Grolier Club exhibition in New York in 1904, as well as in London and Paris in 1905. A set of the 'Renaissance' etchings, including Windows opposite Hotel, Bourges, was lent by Ernest Marsh (fl. 1935), to the Whistler Memorial show in London in 1905. 12

11: London Obach 1903 (cat. no. 238); See REFERENCES : EXHIBITIONS.

12: New York 1904a (cat. no. 370); London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 332).


By 10 December 1888 Whistler was selling impressions of some of the new Bourges prints to the London art dealers, Messrs Dowdeswells. 13 The first reference to the sale of this etching, as 'Windows opposite Hotel - Bourge [sic] (1st State) 6 - 6 - 0', was on 27 March 1889 when it was sold to Ernest George Brown (1853/1854-1915) of the Fine Art Society. 14

It was listed briefly as '1 Windows opposite -' meaning he had one impression, among prints in stock in Whistler's studio on 18 July 1889; and listed again by Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896), as '[(]The - ) Windows. (The) opposite, Bourges', at some time in the next two years. 15 It was recorded as 'Hotel Windows The Brus' [sic] and priced at £4.4.0 in 1890, when Whistler had three unmounted and one mounted impressions available. 16

13: GUW #13029.

14: GUW #01210.

15: GUW #13235, #12715.

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

Windows opposite Hotel, Bourges is rarely recorded among the Bourges etchings in subsequent years - Hotel Lallement, Bourges, for instance, was more popular. An impression of 'Hotel Windows', probably this etching, was sold for £3.3.0 to H. Wunderlich & Co. in early 1894 and two years later Wunderlich still had two impressions - by this time under the title 'Hotel window Bourges' - on account from Whistler at the same price. 17 One impression that was sold through Wunderlich's (stock no. 27499) and later Knoedler & Co., New York, was bought by Lessing Julius Rosenwald (1891-1971), who gave it to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC ().

17: [January/June 1894], GUW#07271; [August 1897], #07289, which probably includes the impression recorded in Wunderlich's accounts for 24 September 1897, GUW #07287.

Howard Mansfield (1849-1938) owned an impression that was sold in 1919 through A. A. Hahlo & Co., New York, to Harris G. Whittemore (d. ca 1937), and subsequently at the Whittemore sale, in New York in 1952, but has not been located (). 18 One impression is in the Freer Gallery of Art, but it was bought recently from the Fine Art Society in London ().

18: Parke-Bernet, New York, 14 October 1952 (lot 175).