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Courtyard, Rue P. L. Courier, Tours

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 391
Date: 1888
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 147 x 81 mm
Signed: butterfly above centre
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 9
Catalogues: K.368; M.369
Impressions taken from this plate  (9)


birdcage, building, courtyard, Renaissance architecture, town, washing-line, woman standing.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'Rue P L Courier, Tours' (1887/1888, Whistler). 2
'Courtyard Rue P. L. Courier' (1889, Whistler). 3
'P. L. Courier - Rue., Tours // Rue P L Courier Tours Courtyard in' (1890/1892, Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896)). 4
'Courtyard, Rue P. L. Courier' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 5
'Courtyard, Rue P. L. Courier, Tours' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 6

The title, 'Courtyard, Rue P.L.Courier, Tours' is based on the titles recorded by Whistler and his wife.

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

3: List, 18 July 1889, GUW #13235.

4: B. Whistler, list, [1890/1892], GUW #12715.

5: Kennedy 1902[more] (cat. no. 333).

6: Envelope containing copper plate, University of Glasgow.


A view across a narrow cobbled courtyard, with the building at the far side drawn parallel to the edges of the copper plate. A woman stands in the court working on the window sill below a very tall window with many small panes. Above this is an open window with plants on the window sill. To right of the woman is a closed door. Spanning the corner of the building, at right, is a carved, curving stone balcony below a large curved window on the first floor. A bird cage and window box stick out from the first floor window on the side of the courtyard at left, and clothes hang on a line strung from this window to another window on the side of the court at upper right.


Tours is a town on the river Loire in France. The rue Paul-Louis Courier is a short street running south from the rue des Tanneurs. It is south of the Loire (on the Loches side), across from the main part of the city.
Paul Louis Courier (1773-1825) was a Hellenist and political writer whose family had an estate in Touraine. There is also a rue Paul-Louis Courier in Paris, a short street off the Rue du Bac.

The rue Paul-Louis Courier in Tours was full of interesting courtyards in addition to the one etched by Whistler. 7 It is near another street etched by Whistler, Rue des Bons Enfants, Tours 392.

7: Paul Vitry, Tours et les chateaux de Touraine, Paris, 1907, pp. 79-80; A. - C. Gueritte, Le Vieux Tours. Architecture - Architecture, Paris, 1898, pl. 60, 70, 79-83.