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Rue des Bons Enfants, Tours

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 392
Date: 1888
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 149 x 80 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 5
Known impressions: 10
Catalogues: K.372; M.372; W.320
Impressions taken from this plate  (10)


building, people, shop, street, streetscape, town.


One title predominates, with few variations, as follows:

'Rue des Bons Enfants, Tours ' (1887/1888, Whistler). 1
'Rue des Bon Enfants' (1889, Whistler). 2
'Rue des Bons Enfants, Tours' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 3

'Rue des Bons Enfants, Tours' is the original and established title.

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

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

3: Kennedy 1902[more] (cat. no. 320).


A view down a narrow street to a four-storey building on the cross street at the end. There are windows on the top three floors, the first and second floor having open louvred shutters, and the top, a small square window, also open. Figures look out from the second floor over a small wrought-iron balcony. On the ground floor, at left, is a wide open entrance (Mansfield describes this as a passageway). 4 There are figures in the shadowy interior, and over the entrance, a small window with closed louvred shutters, and the number '23'. To right is a tall window, with square panes, and goods - possibly bottles - on the upper shelves.

4: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 372)


The narrow cobbled Rue des Bons Enfants, in the town of Tours, France. It is off the Rue du President Merville, close to the rue P. L. Courier (where Whistler etched Courtyard, Rue P. L. Courier, Tours 391), and runs west into the Place de Chateauneuf.


Fine commented on the composition and style: 'Evident is Whistler's continuing interest in facades and in views through windows, doorways and passages. But he is no longer as finicky about subtleties and nuances as he was in Venice. Spontaneity is more to the point.' 5

5: Los Angeles 1984 (cat. no. 81).