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

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Variations in violet and grey – Market Place, Dieppe


  • 1891: 'Market Place Dieppe' was sold, according to Whistler, to Edmund F. Deprez (1851-1915) , London dealer, on 26 June 1891.
  • 1893: David Croal Thomson (1855-1930) , London art dealer, received two watercolours, probably including this, from the art dealer Otto Gutekunst (ca 1865-after 1939) .
  • 1928: bought from Harlow, MacDonald & Co., New York, by Knoedler's, New York dealers, on 1 0ctober (# WCA72) and sold to Daniel Haddock Carstairs (b. 1862), Germantown, Pennsylvania, 20 November;
  • 1929: returned on 8 October to Knoedler's (#WCA371, joint a/c with Reid and Lefevre);
  • 1930: sold to Wadsworth R. Lewis (1889-1942), Ridgefield, Connecticut, and New York, 16 April;
  • 1943: sold at auction, Wadsworth R. Lewis sale, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, 2 April 1943 (lot 397, repr.) as 'The Market Place, Dieppe' and bought by Carstairs, New York dealer.
  • Date unknown: acquired by Mrs Polly Brooks Howe (d. 1973), who gave it to Mr and Mrs Douglass Campbell, New York;
  • 2000: gift of Douglass Campbell, Richard Strachan, and Stephen M. Strachan, in memory of Mrs Douglass Campbell and Mrs William Lyman Campbell, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Further details are given in MacDonald 1995 (cat. rais.) [more] (cat. no. 1024); this record has been updated.


  • 1886: 'Notes' - 'Harmonies' - 'Nocturnes', Second Series, Messrs Dowdeswell, London, 1886 (cat. no. 11) as 'Variations in violet and grey – Market Place, Dieppe'.
  • 1887: possibly Exposition Internationale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1887 (cat. no. 179) as 'Argent et violet: Dieppe' although this might have been an oil.
  • 1888: probably III. Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, Königlicher Glaspalast, Munich, 1888 (cat. no. 26) as 'Rosa und Silber: Markt in Dieppe'.
  • 1889: “Notes” – “Harmonies” – “Nocturnes”, H. Wunderlich & Co., New York, 1889 (cat. no. 19) as 'Blue and Violet – The Market – Dieppe'.

The New York Evening Sun on 16 March 1889 described it unfavourably:

'a confused mass of blotches, single strokes of the brush, spots but little more than microscopic, and these resolve into the busy industries of a market, huckstering groups, types distinguished by the outline, and which could by no means be confounded with another mass of blotches'.

It was priced at 50 guineas in 1889, but remained unsold, and was returned to Whistler after the exhibition by Wunderlich's on the SS Servia. 1


1: G. Dieterlen, H. Wunderlich & Co., to Whistler, 1 November 1889, GUW #07187.

Last updated: 2nd April 2021 by Margaret