Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow


Charles William Deschamps

Nationality: English
Date of birth: 1848
Place of birth: Brighton
Date of death: 1908
Category: art dealer


Charles William Deschamps was the nephew of the important Belgian art dealer Ernest Gambart. He married Christina Deschamps, née Dodds (1845–1926). They had a son, born on 31 August 1883, and a daughter, born on 6 October 1884. By 1891 they had three daughters, Christina, Evelyn and Renée, and three sons, Laurence, Charles and Daryl.


Deschamps moved to London at the siege of Paris in 1870, became Secretary of the Society of French Artists in 1872, and exhibited Paul Durand-Ruel’s Impressionist pictures at his gallery in New Bond Street. He made a reputation as a dealer in contemporary art but continued to support some of his uncle’s ‘establishment’ artists such as Lawrence Alma-Tadema. He went on to own a gallery at 1a, New Bond Street during the 1880s.

He was a regular correspondent with Whistler in the 1870s and 1880s and sold a number of the artist's paintings, pastels and watercolours, including Green and Grey. The Oyster Smacks – Evening y070, The White Girl m0471 and Note in Violet and Green m1074. Whistler wrote to Deschamps in 1872 concerning Blue and Silver: Screen, with Old Battersea Bridge y139, which according to Walter Greaves had been commissioned for Leyland but which Whistler wanted to keep for himself. Deschamps was said to have himself owned The Japanese Parasol m1228 and On the Pier m1229.


Births, The Times, London, 4 September 1883, p. 1; Births, The Times, London, 10 October 1884, p. 1; 1891 UK census,; Maas, Jeremy, Gambart: Prince of the Victorian Art World, London, 1975; Young, Andrew McLaren, Margaret F. MacDonald, Robin Spencer, and Hamish Miles, The Paintings of James McNeill Whistler, New Haven and London, 1980 ; Walkley, Giles, Artists' houses in London 1764-1914, Aldershot, 1994 ; MacDonald, Margaret F., James McNeill Whistler. Drawings, Pastels and Watercolours. A Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven and London, 1995 .