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Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 256
Date: 1886
Medium: etching
Size: 111 x 70 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 11
Catalogues: K.256; M.252; W.208
Impressions taken from this plate  (11)


city, people, street, streetscape.


There are small variations in the title, but all mention the site, Piccadilly:

'Piccadilly' (1887, Whistler). 2
'A Fragment of Piccadilly ' (1887/1888, Whistler). 3
'A Fragment of Piccadilly' (1899, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 4

Wedmore's title is unusual, and it is based on the fact that only a part of the street scene was completed. However, Whistler first referred to it as 'Piccadilly' and this is the preferred title.

2: To Dowdeswell, 27 July 1887, GUW #08677.

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

4: Wedmore 1899[more] (cat. no. 208).


A broad street appears in the top half of the plate, with a row of three- and four-storey buildings at upper right. There are groups of figures on the pavements. The nearest figure at right is a man wearing a top hat and dark coat.


Piccadilly, London, UK. Whistler enjoyed the bustle of the fashionable street. When temporarily working in Venice he wrote, 'I am bored to death after a certain time away from Piccadilly! - I pine for Pall Mall and I long for a hansom! - ' 5

5: To H. E. Whistler, [October/November 1879], GUW #06686.


The subject is comparable to St James's Street 178, but in scale is closer to St James's Park 250. It is curious that one of the busiest streets in central London was depicted by Whistler as an almost empty space, on a miniature scale.