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The Band, Luxembourg Gardens

Impression: Whistler Etchings Project
Whistler Etchings Project
Number: 466
Date: 1893/1894
Medium: etching
Size: 181 x 152 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.-; M.-; T.-; W.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)


city, landscape, musician, park, people, tree.


Whistler's original title is not known. This is the only recorded title:

'The Band, Luxembourg Gardens' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 2

The title may have had the artist's approval because Miss Birnie Philip sorted his copper plates at Whistler's request in 1901. 3 However, it might have been recorded later, when the plates were sorted after Whistler's death in 1903, or when they were given to the University of Glasgow in 1935.

2: Envelope containing copper plate, Hunterian Art Gallery.

3: Whistler to R. B. Philip, 27 January [1901], GUW #04787.


Across the centre is the band playing in an enclosure. In front, at left and right, are people on upright wooden chairs listening to the music. In the background are trees in full leaf.


The Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) is a public park in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was not far from Whistler's house at 110 rue du Bac.
Whistler made several more etchings of the gardens, including Under the Statue, Luxembourg Gardens 464 and Polichinelle, Jardin du Luxembourg 467. He also drew three lithographs there in November 1893, although, as he complained to T. R. Way, 'The three little Luxembourg gardens I could have done more with under better conditions - ' 4

He followed up with Nursemaids: 'Les Bonnes du Luxembourg' c081 and The Terrace, Luxembourg c087 in 1894. In addition he had made a slight pencil sketch on the back of a letter on 25 March 1892 (The Terrace, Luxembourg m1332), and two later drawings on lithographic paper that were not transferred to stone and printed, Seated woman in Luxembourg Gardens m1401 and Statue in Luxembourg Gardens m1400. 5

4: Whistler to T. R. Way, [15 November 1893], GUW #03348; Conversation under the Statue, Luxembourg Gardens c069, The Steps, Luxembourg c068, and The Pantheon, from the terrace of the Luxembourg Gardens c070.

5: Whistler to T. R. Way, [19 July 1894], GUW #03376 Hunterian.