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The Courtyard, Brussels

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 345
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 215 x 126 mm
Signed: butterfly at right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 7
Catalogues: K.355; M.353; W.250
Impressions taken from this plate  (7)


architecture, café, children, washing, courtyard, lamp, people, stall, streetscape, laundry.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'The Court Yard Brussels' (1887, Whistler). 2
'Courtyard Brussels' (1890/1891, Whistler). 3
'Court-yard, Brussels' (1899, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 4
'A Courtyard, Brussels' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 5
'Courtyard, Brussels' (1910, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 6

'The Courtyard, Brussels' is based on Whistler's original title, with added punctuation.

2: Whistler to T. McLean, 21 December 1887, GUW #13017.

3: List, [1890/1891], GUW #13236.

4: Wedmore 1899[more] (cat. no. 250).

5: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 353).

6: Kennedy 1910[more] (cat. no. 355).


A courtyard, with a tall lamp-post in the centre, surrounded on three sides by four-storey buildings. The building at the far end has a central gable surmounted by a wrought-iron ornament. Clothes are hung out of some upper windows to dry. The courtyard is full of women talking and children playing. Towards the far end, at left, are small hand-barrows and stalls, and at right, people seated, possibly at a café.


The city of Brussels, capital of Belgium. The exact courtyard has not been established. Most of Whistler's views were drawn in the Grand' Place or very near it.