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The Clock Tower - Amboise

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 429
Date: 1888
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 178 x 127 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 10
Catalogues: K.394; M.394
Impressions taken from this plate  (10)


belfry, architecture, building, child, clocktower, dog, gateway, people, Renaissance, square, street, town, tower.


Minor variations on the spelling and punctuation of the title are as follows:

'The Clock Tower - Amboise' (1887/1888, Whistler). 3
'Clock Tower d'Amboise' (1889, Whistler). 4
Clock Tower Amboise' (1889, Whistler). 5
'Clock Tower, St. Amboise' (1900, Caxton Club). 6
'Clock Tower, Amboise' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 7
'Clock-Tower, Amboise' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 8

'The Clock Tower - Amboise' is the original and preferred title.

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

4: Whistler to C. J. Knowles, 17-19 February 1889, GUW #13050.

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

6: Chicago 1900 (cat. no. E260).

7: Kennedy 1902[more] (cat. no. 343).

8: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 394).


A broad square narrows into a street lined with two- and three-storey buildings. The street curves to right under the pointed arch of a big clock-tower, and continues up hill. The tower has a steep sloping roof with a clock and is surmounted by a tall belfry. In the foreground at right is a building with an awning. In front of this a woman stands with a child in her arms and one at her feet, and with a young girl in front of her, to right. A small dog holds centre stage, and in the distance there are a few figures on the street and pavements.


The 15th century town gate, now the clock tower (tour de l'horloge) in the town of Amboise, in the Loire valley, France.
The clock tower was also etched by David Young Cameron (1865-1945) as Amboise in 1903, the year of Whistler's death. 9 It shows the belfry seen through an archway. Cameron followed in Whistler's footprints in Venice, Belgium and France and perhaps Amboise was a tribute to the old master.

9: Frank Rinder, D.Y. Cameron: an illustrated catalogue of his etched work..., Glasgow, 1912, cat. no. 352.