St James Street decorated with bunting

Impression: Whistler Etchings Project
Whistler Etchings Project
Number: 326
Date: 1887/1888
Medium: etching
Size: 133 x 98 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 1
Catalogues: K.-; M.-; T.-; W.-
Impressions taken from this plate  (1)
The plate may date from 1887 or 1888- but most likely from 12 August 1887. The butterfly signature and style of drawing is consistent with this date.
A major celebration occurred throughout Britain in August 1887, at the time of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, and a procession passed through St James's Street, London, on 12 August 1887.
Two copper plates of similar size by Whistler are related to the Jubilee, Return to Tilbury [311] and Windsor Castle [314]. Flags figure prominently in a much smaller etching, Bunting [304].
On the other hand, it could date from the autumn of 1888, when Beatrice and James Whistler were on honeymoon in the Loire valley. The street is hung with flags, suggesting a local or public festival. 14 July (Bastille Day), 15 August (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary) and All Souls Day on 1 November were particularly important.