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Balustrade, Luxembourg Gardens

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 465
Date: 1892/1894
Medium: etching
Size: 128 x 217 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 2
Catalogues: K.427; M.422
Impressions taken from this plate  (2)


conversation, balustrade, child, garden, park, sculpture, woman seated, tree, vase.


Whistler's original title is not known. Two basic titles have been recorded:

'Balustrade, Luxembourg Gardens' (1900, Wunderlich's). 3
'The Terrace, Luxembourg Gardens' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 4
'Terrace, Luxembourg Gardens. No. 2' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 5
'Balustrade, Luxembourg Gardens' (1910, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 6

Kennedy's title Balustrade, Luxembourg Gardens, was known to Whistler and may originally have been derived from him. It is therefore the preferred title.

3: GUW #07231.

4: Envelope containing copper plate, Hunterian Art Gallery.

5: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 422).

6: Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 427).


Tables and seats stand on a terrace bounded by a stone balustrade that is topped by two large pots containing plants, looking over three trees and gardens to the distant roofs of the city. The balustrade ends at left in a plinth supporting a figurative sculpture of putti supporting a wide jardinière containing flowers. At far left, on a lower level, is a plinth with a sculpture of a single figure, and to right, behind the balustrade, is yet another draped figure, with left arm raised. In the foreground, on the terrace, sit two women reading or sewing at a table covered in a cloth, with a child in a large sun-hat standing to the left. The woman behind the table faces the viewer; the one at right, wearing a hat with a small brim decorated with bows or feathers, faces left. Behind them, to left, are several more chairs, and two more seated women.


Etching: c_K427_02
Balustrade, Luxembourg Gardens, Paris, 2005.
Photograph©M.F. MacDonald, Whistler Etchings Project.
The terrace over the sunken garden in the Jardins du Luxembourg, Paris, France. In November 1893 Whistler drew the view from the opposite direction, as seen from the bottom of the steps, and including the figurative sculpture, in the lithograph, The Steps, Luxembourg c068, and he also drew a similar terrace scene, The Pantheon, from the terrace of the Luxembourg Gardens c070. He drew a second view of The Terrace, Luxembourg c087, in July 1894. 7

7: Spink 1998[more] (cat. nos. 70, 87).