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Court of the Monastery of St Augustine, Bourges

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 403
Date: 1888
Medium: etching
Size: 131 x 220 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 4
Catalogues: K.398; M.397
Impressions taken from this plate  (4)


arch, architecture, building, courtyard, monastery, people, washing.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'St Augustine. Bourges ' (1887/1888, Whistler). 1
'Court of the St. Augustine (Monastery) Blois' (1889, Whistler). 2
'St Augustine' (1889, Whistler). 3
'Court of the St. Augustin Monastery, Bourges' (1900, Caxton Club). 4
'St. Augustin' (1902, Philadelphia). 5
'Court of the Monastery of St. Augustine at Bourges' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 6
'Court of Monastery of St. Augustine, Bourges' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 7

Whistler was wrong in listing this as Blois on one occasion. Mansfield's title 'Court of the Monastery of St Augustine, Bourges' is the preferred title based on Whistler's original titles.

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

2: Whistler to Wunderlich's, 14 and 24 May 1889, GUW #13056.

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

4: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. E288).

5: Philadelphia 1902 (cat. no. 947 [277]).

6: Kennedy 1902[more] (cat. no. 330).

7: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 397).


A two-storey building is seen across a courtyard, drawn nearly parallel to the plate edge. It has three massive rounded arches, one leading in through a smaller arch to a dark interior and a flight of stairs, and the two to right, filled in except for a small square window. Part of another arch with a flight of stairs behind it is seen on the right side of the courtyard, while on the left side is a small lean-to building, possibly with shutters or windows and a slightly sloping roof, built right against the bricked-up remains of another arch in the far wall of the courtyard. In the upper floor there are four shuttered windows, the second and fourth from left being open, with people looking out. The eaves and roof are just visible above this, casting shadows to right. A long line of washing hangs across the courtyard to right. In the courtyard stand several women and children, including a woman at right standing with arms on hips, gazing up, possibly to check on the washing.


The old Augustinian convent, Rue Mirebeau, Bourges, France.

Buhot de Kersers describes its state in 1883; it was rebuilt in the late 16th and early 17th century 8

8: A. Buhot de Kersers, Statistique monumentale du département du Cher, vol. 2, Bourges, 1883, pp. 235-7.