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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) 095 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[more] (cat. no. 129).

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

3: Mansfield 1909[more] (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.