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

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Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses


  • 1879: according to Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), it was 'left' by Whistler at the time of his bankruptcy with the London banker William Cleverly Alexander (1840-1916) ; 1
  • 1903: Freer told this to Whistler's sister-in-law and executrix, Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) and she asked Alexander to return it; 2
  • 1903 or after: returned by Alexander to Miss R. Birnie Philip;
  • 1958: bequeathed by Miss R. Birnie Philip to the University of Glasgow.

Unfinished works, and paintings destroyed by the artist, were not sold at the time of his bankruptcy. Some were retained for safe-keeping by his family, friends, and even creditors, and some of these paintings were returned to him later.


It was not exhibited in Whistler's lifetime.


1: Freer's diaries, n.d., Bk. 13, Freer Gallery archives.

2: 1903, GUL Whistler LB 6/9.

Last updated: 1st November 2020 by Margaret