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

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Chelsea Shop


Several possible titles have been suggested:

  • 'Chelsea Shop' (1901, Whistler). 1
  • 'The Marine Store' (1903, W. Scott). 2
  • 'The General Dealer' (1904, Royal Scottish Academy). 3
  • 'The General Dealer' (1905, ISSPG). 4
  • 'The little greengrocers' (1907, A. Reid). 5
  • 'A Shop Front: The General Dealer' (1914, Knoedler). 6
  • 'The Old General Dealer' (1934, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). 7
  • 'Chelsea Shop' (1980, YMSM). 8
  • 'The General Dealer' (2015, Rhode Island School of Design). 9

There are obviously green vegetables on and under the table in front of the shop so that Reid's title is probably the most appropriate of all the titles under which it has been known, but, for consistency, Whistler's original title 'Chelsea Shop' is the preferred one.


                    Chelsea Shop, Rhode Island School of Design
Chelsea Shop, Rhode Island School of Design

The ground floor of two small shops, in horizontal format. The shop at left has miscellaneous goods including pictures. That at right has a many-paned window displaying small goods, including bottles and boxes, with a trestle table in front, which seems to contain vegetables. In the dark doorway at the right edge stands a woman holding a very small child wearing a red cap.


Probably Chelsea, although it could be the east end of London.


1: J. J. Cowan to Whistler, annotated by Whistler, 25-26 February 1901, GUW #00743.

2: Scott 1903 [more] , repr. p. 98.

3: 78th Exhibition of the Royal Scottish Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, 1904 (cat. no. 308).

4: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of the late James McNeill Whistler, First President of The International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, New Gallery, Regent Street, London, 1905 (cat. no. 94).

5: Information from A. McN. Reid, 1963, WPP archives, GUL.

6: Oils, Water Colors, Pastels and Drawings by J. McN. Whistler, Knoedler & Co., New York, 1914 (cat. no. 7).

7: Oils, Water-colors, Drawings and Prints by James McNeill Whistler, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1934 (cat. no. 9).

8: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 374).

9: RISD website at

Last updated: 19th June 2021 by Margaret