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Battersea: Early Morning

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 157
Date: 1875
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 115 x 229 mm
Signed: no
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 22
Catalogues: K.152; M.149; W.129
Impressions taken from this plate  (22)


cancelled plate, factory, river, steamboat, warehouse, wharf.


Possible titles are as follows:

'The Troubled Thames' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 1
'Battersea early morning (1890/1892, Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896)). 2
'The Troubled Thames' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 3
'Battersea: Early Morning' (2009, Whistler Etching Project).

Similar titles and subjects can cause considerable confusion between this etching, Battersea Dawn (Cadogan Pier) [95] and Battersea Morn [174]. The title later given by Whistler's cataloguers - 'The Troubled Thames' - is emotive and not typical of Whistler's titles; it was not mentioned anywhere in Whistler's letters, nor in the studio stock-taking by Whistler and his wife in the 1890s.

This suggests that they called it something else, such as 'Battersea early morning', which was recorded during stock-taking. 'Battersea: Early Morning' has been taken as the title, since it clearly is a view of Battersea.

1: Wedmore 1886 A (cat. no. 129).

2: List, 1890/1892, GUW 12715).

3: Mansfield 1909 (cat. no. 149).


In the left foreground is a jetty stretching into the River Thames. In mid-stream, behind it, a small steamboat steams to right over the rough water. On the far side there is a row of warehouses, with several tall chimneys, and more steamboats moored in front of the wharves.


The River Thames in London, with a view of the Battersea shore from Chelsea. The same view is seen in Battersea Morn [174]. At high tide, and at the turn of the tide, the river runs very strongly, with dangerous currents, and eddies under the bridges.