Battersea Reach

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 96
Date: 1863
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 134 x 209 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower right
Inscribed: '1863. - ' at lower right
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 19
Catalogues: K.90; M.90
Impressions taken from this plate  (19)


It was published in an album of Cancelled Plates ('Cancelled Set') by The Fine Art Society, London, 1879.


Hardly ever exhibited in Whistler's lifetime, it was shown as 'Opposite Lindsay Row' by H. Wunderlich & Co. in New York in 1898. 8

It was also shown, in an impression from the cancelled plate, at the Whistler Memorial Exhibition in London in 1905 as 'Sailing Boats off Battersea', lent by Messrs Ernest Brown & Phillips. 9

8: New York 1898 (cat. no. 294).

9: London Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 384).


The impressions located are all from the cancelled set and many are still in their original volumes. For instance, the British Museum bought an album in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0900205), and Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), bought a set in 1893 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0900201).
Surviving impressions from the cancelled plate are often in the album as published in 1879. Thomas Glen Arthur (1858-1907) acquired a set in 1887 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0900212) which later went to Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Boston Public Library also acquired a set (Graphic with a link to impression #K0900206). A set acquired by J. Littauer, Munich was sold to the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 1896 (Graphic with a link to impression #K0900207).
Prices were low but collectors and collections were keen to have the set of cancelled etchings, as a record of a substantial number of otherwise unrecorded etchings and drypoints. A set, probably acquired from the Fine Art Society by Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892), was auctioned in 1889 and bought by Robert Dunthorne (b. ca 1851) for £0.6.0. 10 Dunthorne exchanged it for other works with Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958) who bequeathed it to the University of Glasgow (see Graphic with a link to impression #K0900202). She acquired another set, trimmed the impressions and stuck them on the envelopes containing the copper plates (i.e. Graphic with a link to impression #K0900208).

10: Sotheby's, London, 13 December 1889 (lot 787 or 789).