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

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The Greengrocer's Shop, Paris


Whistler's original title is not known. Only one title has been suggested:

  • 'The Greengrocer's Shop – Paris' (1936, Glasgow University). 1
  • 'The Greengrocer's Shop, Paris' (1980, YMSM). 2

The punctuation was changed to conform with other titles: 'The Greengrocer's Shop, Paris' is therefore the generally accepted title.


                    The Greengrocer's Shop, Paris, The Hunterian
The Greengrocer's Shop, Paris, The Hunterian

The ground floor frontage of a shop fills the horizontal panel. In the centre is an open window with small panes, and a glimpse of goods within. On the windowsill and on a low bench in front of it are bowls, baskets, and small piles of fruit and vegetables. Two bunches – possibly of herbs – hang to right of the window, and beyond them, at right, is a dark open doorway. At far right, a woman is standing with hands on hips. The colours are restricted to browns and ochres.


A small shop, said to be in Paris, though it could easily have been in London or a smaller town: this is a very small-scale business, with no more goods for sale than a market stall.

The theme of shopfronts and streetscapes recurs in Whistler's work throughout the 1880s and 1890s.


1: James McNeill Whistler, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, 1936 (cat. no. 3).

2: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 372).

Last updated: 22nd October 2020 by Margaret