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Battersea Morn

Impression: Hunterian Art Gallery
Hunterian Art Gallery
Number: 174
Date: 1877
Medium: drypoint
Size: 150 x 225 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 5
Known impressions: 14
Catalogues: K.155; M.152; W.125
Impressions taken from this plate  (14)


factory, paddle-steamer, river, rowing boat, sailing ship, warehouse.


The sequence of titles is confusing, as for example:

'Battersea Morn' (1877, Whistler). 3
'Battersea - Morn' (1878, 'English Etchings'). 4
'Battersea Morn' (1878?, Whistler) 5
'Battersea: Dawn' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 6
'Battersea Morn' (1887, Whistler). 7
'Battersea Morn/ Dawn' (1887/1888, Whistler). 8
'Battersea Dawn' (1890/1891, Whistler). 9

The similar titles can cause considerable confusion between this drypoint and Battersea Dawn (Cadogan Pier) 095 and Battersea: Early Morning 157.

However, it is clear that Whistler's original title was 'Battersea Morn', and that it was Wedmore who changed the title, and was followed by later cataloguers. Whistler himself noted the change of title, confirming that both the titles 'Battersea Morn' and 'Battersea Dawn' had been used. 'Battersea Morn' is the original and preferred title.

3: Whistler to M. B. Huish, 10 October 1877, GUW #12734.

4: Press-cutting, [February/ December 1878], GUL pc1, p. 94.

5: Written on .

6: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 125).

7: Whistler to Dowdeswell, 28 April 1887, GUW #13020.

8: August 1887/1888], GUW #13233.

9: List, [1890/1891], GUW #13236.


In the foreground at left are the sterns of two small sailing boats, and at right, several rowing boats (Wedmore calls them wherries). 10 On the far side of the River Thames are sheds, warehouses, and tall chimneys, veiled in mist. Many paddle steamers are moored in front of the distant buildings. In mid-stream, to right, is a small sidewheel paddle steamer.

10: Wedmore 1886 A[more].


A view of Battersea, looking across the River Thames from Chelsea, London. The same view is seen in Battersea: Early Morning 157.


In these 'dawn' and 'morn' subjects Whistler was perhaps trying to achieve in line the soft atmospheric effects he sought in oils such as Nocturne in Black and Gold: Entrance to Southampton Water y179.