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Jubilee Place, Chelsea

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 276
Date: 1887
Medium: etching
Size: 143 x 222 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 7
Catalogues: K.274; M.327
Impressions taken from this plate  (7)


lamp, people, shop, streetscape.


It has been consistently identified by the location, as follows:

'Jubilee Place - Chelsea' (1888, Whistler). 2
'Jubilee Place' (1889, Whistler). 3
'Jubilee Place, Chelsea' (1898, Wunderlich's). 4
'Jubilee Place, Chelsea' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 5

'Jubilee Place, Chelsea' is the generally accepted title.

2: 17 November 1888, GUW #13028.

3: List, 18 July 1889, GUW #13235.

4: New York 1898 (cat. no. 182).

5: Kennedy 1902[more] (cat. no. 295).


Across an open space is a row of two-storey houses, with shops on the ground floor. They appear to have virtually flat roofs, with small chimneys showing, and a flag-pole in the middle. At left is a street-corner, with a lamp-post at the edge of the pavement in front of a large building with a narrow arched doorway. Four or five shops are visible, mostly shaded with awnings, and with tables outside to show off their wares. A few women and children are on the pavement in front of the shops. There are windows with small iron balconies above three of the shops. There are clouds in the sky. A few cobbles are indicated in the middle foreground.


Although Whistler's title gave the site as Jubilee Place, Chelsea, London, it is not clear if this was a view of Jubilee Place, or of the King's Road from Jubilee Place. The area has been largely re-developed, as has much of the King's Road, and the particular viewpoint is impossible to establish.
In 1886 the east side of Jubilee Place included a wholesale biscuit-maker, studios, a blind manufacturer and carpenter, and opposite was a paper-hanger, bootmaker, house agent and modeller: this does not seem to be what is in Whistler's etching. From Jubilee Place Whistler would have seen a stretch of the Kings Road roughly between between Smith Street and Radnor Street. This included the premises of a pawnbroker, wheelwright, beer retailer, grocer and cheesemonger (George John Jones, grocer, was at Nos. 111 and 115 Kings Road). It is possible that this row of shops is what is visible, rather than the small manufacturing premises and studios along Jubilee Place itself.
Although there was a pub - the Duke of Cambridge - at 6 Cale Street, and Frederick Bygrave's coffee shop, at 14 Cale Street, from which Whistler could have had a view of Jubilee Place, this was a less satisfactory viewpoint apart from the beer (or coffee).