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

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Grey and Silver: Chelsea Wharf

Titles

Several possible titles, all featuring the site, 'Chelsea', have been suggested:

  • 'Chelsea Reach – Harmony in Grey' (1875, Society of French Artists). 1
  • 'Chelsea Barges' (1892, Whistler). 2
  • 'Grey and Silver. Chelsea Wharf' (1892, Goupil). 3
  • 'Grey note – Thames' (1894, Whistler). 4
  • 'a small grey Chelsea' or 'Grey Note' (1895, Whistler). 5
  • 'Shipping on the Thames' and 'Grey and Silver, Chelsea Wharf' (1905, ISSPG). 6
  • 'Grey and Silver: Chelsea Wharf' (1980, YMSM). 7

'Grey and Silver: Chelsea Wharf', based on the 1892 catalogue, is the generally accepted title.

Description

Grey and Silver: Chelsea Wharf, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Grey and Silver: Chelsea Wharf, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

A river view, in vertical format. Several figures walk on a road, or lean on a wall by the water, in the foreground. Barges with red sails are moored by jetties at right. On the far side of the river are warehouses or factories with tall chimneys, and possibly a spoil heap, towards the left.

Site

Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach, Art Institute of Chicago
Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach, Art Institute of Chicago
Chelsea in Ice, Colby College Museum
Chelsea in Ice, Colby College Museum
Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses, The Hunterian
Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses, The Hunterian
Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony, Freer Gallery of Art
Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony, Freer Gallery of Art

The view of Battersea Reach, on the river Thames, London, from Whistler's house in what is now Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, as seen in many of Whistler's paintings of the 1860s and 1870s (Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach [YMSM 046], Chelsea in Ice [YMSM 053], Grey and Silver: Chelsea Wharf , Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses [YMSM 055], Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony [YMSM 056], Sketch for 'The Balcony' [YMSM 057], and Study of Draped Figures [YMSM 058]), as well as in later Nocturnes such as Nocturne in Blue and Silver [YMSM 113], Nocturne [YMSM 114], and Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach [YMSM 119], and Nocturne: Battersea [YMSM 120].

Notes:

1: Eleventh Exhibition of the Society of French Artists, Deschamps Gallery, London, 1875 (cat. no. 80).

2: Whistler to D. C. Thomson, [4/11 January 1892], GUW #06795.

3: Nocturnes, Marines & Chevalet Pieces, Goupil Gallery, London, 1892 (cat. no. 35).

4: Whistler to J. C. Potter, [January/February 1894], GUW #13346.

5: Whistler to Ionides, [15 August 1895], GUW #02364.

6: 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. 69) in ordinary and deluxe edition respectively.

7: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 54).

Last updated: 22nd December 2020 by Margaret