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

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Battersea Reach

Battersea Reach dates from between 1862 and 1863. 1

In July 1862, George du Maurier (1834-1896) said that Whistler was 'painting river pictures for the Greeks.' 2 Battersea Reach was probably one of these, though the purchaser, George John Cavafy (1805-1891), was actually a Turkish merchant.

Many years later Whistler wrote: 'The picture called "Battersea Reach", was painted by me, I cannot remember exactly in what year, but when I was living in Lindsey Row, Chelsea ... on a brilliant autumn evening.' 3


                Battersea Reach, Corcoran Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Battersea Reach, Corcoran Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

                Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach, Art Institute of Chicago
Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach, Art Institute of Chicago

It is dated partly by the technique and by comparison with other Thames paintings, particularly Grey and Silver: Old Battersea Reach [YMSM 046], which is dated 1863.

Notes:

1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 45) says 'about 1863.'

2: Du Maurier 1951 [more] , p. 160.

3: 17 August 1893, GUW #13533.

Last updated: 1st December 2020 by Margaret