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

Home  > Catalogue > Exhibitions > (related works) > Search Display

Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses

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.


                Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses, The Hunterian
Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses, The Hunterian

                Venus, Freer Gallery of Art
Venus, Freer Gallery of Art

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


                Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses, The Hunterian
Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses, The Hunterian

                Variations in Pink and Grey: Chelsea, Freer Gallery of Art
Variations in Pink and Grey: Chelsea, Freer Gallery of Art

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

Notes:

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).

3: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 55).

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