Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses probably dates from between 1864 and 1871. It is difficult to date, and appears to have been reworked at intervals over some years. 1
1864: A label on the verso of the canvas, written by Harold Wright (1885-1961), possibly on information from Whistler's sister-in-law Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) , and written after the artist's death, gives the date as 1864.
1867/1870: Andrew McLaren Young (1913-1975) pointed out that the two faint figures on the left (the seated figure is nearly invisible) were reminiscent of Whistler's Greco-Japanese sketches of the late 1860s such as Venus [YMSM 082] and Symphony in Green and Violet [YMSM 083]. 2
1870: The more vividly painted figures, the women on the right, have costumes of around 1870/1871 painted on top of the original, amorphous, pastel-coloured draperies. They relate to the figures in Victorian dress in paintings such as Variations in Violet and Green [YMSM 104] and Variations in Pink and Grey: Chelsea [YMSM 105]. 3
1871: It is quite possible that this picture was started in 1864 and reworked in the late 1860s, until about 1871. 4
1: Dorment, Richard, and Margaret F. MacDonald, James McNeill Whistler, Tate Gallery, London, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1994-1995 (cat. no. 37).
2: Young, A. McLaren, James McNeill Whistler, Arts Council Gallery, London, and Knoedler Galleries, New York, 1960 (cat. no. 25; Young, A. McLaren, Glasgow University's Pictures, Colnaghi, London, 1973 (cat. no. 74).
4: John House, Impressionism; its masters, its precursors, and its influence in Britain, Royal Academy, London, 1974 (cat. no. 24).
Last updated: 1st November 2020 by Margaret