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

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Chelsea Houses


Alternative titles have been suggested:

  • 'Street in Chelsea' (1902, C. L. Freer). 1
  • 'Chelsea Houses' (1904, Copley Society, Boston). 2
  • 'Two Doorways' (1957, Knoedler's). 3
  • 'Chelsea Houses' (1980, YMSM). 4

'Chelsea Houses' is the preferred title, as published in 1904.


                    Chelsea Houses, Stanford University
Chelsea Houses, Stanford University

                    Chelsea Houses, photograph, 1980
Chelsea Houses, photograph, 1980

A street scene, painted in horizontal format. At right are two light brown wooden doors with identical features – including door-knockers. To left of them are two windows, possibly shuttered or curtained in dark grey. There are white painted surrounds on both doors and windows. The windowsills of windows on the first floor are just visible. The wall itself is dark brown, and – possibly because of the long brushstrokes – looks like wooden planks. A railing runs along the front to left of the doors. In the foreground at left stand two figures, a woman in profile to left, with a girl facing her. These are faint, and easier to see in the 1980 photograph reproduced above.


The scene is comparable to Whistler's etching Justice Walk, Chelsea [441] of 1888, but is not identical.


1: [1902], diary, Freer Gallery Archives.

2: Oil Paintings, Water Colors, Pastels and Drawings: Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Mr. J. McNeill Whistler, Copley Society, Boston, 1904 (cat. no. 10).

3: Photograph, M. Knoedler & Co., 1957, GUL WPP.

4: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 290).

Last updated: 22nd October 2020 by Margaret