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Nocturne: The River at Battersea

Nocturne: The River at Battersea

Lithotint printed on machine-made wove paper, 1878

One of five lithotints of the Thames made in 1878, this was drawn from memory at the offices of the printer Thomas Way. The view across the Thames from Whistler’s house in Lindsey Row, Chelsea (see Cheyne Walk, Chelsea), had featured in his work for almost twenty years. Prominent are the steeple of St Mary’s Church and the smokestacks and clock tower of Morgan Crucible Company, notorious for emissions that contributed to ‘the almost perpetual obscuration of the prospect, the blurring of distant objects, and the complete veiling on nine days out of ten of everything beyond two miles.’ This proof on white paper was printed before the sides of the image were masked to tidy the irregular edge of washes. The published state was printed on blue paper, increasing the sense of smog.

Bequeathed by Campbell Dodgson 1949

Collections record: P.438-1949

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