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Wapping - The Pool

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 180
Date: 1878/1879
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 189 x 279 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left (4-final)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 8
Known impressions: 14
Catalogues: K.174; M.171; W.143
Impressions taken from this plate  (14)


barge, boat, river, riverscape, sailing ship, sailors, steamboat, wharf.


Variations on the title are as follows:

'Wapping - The Pool' (1870s, Whistler). 2
'Wapping - the Dock' (1878/1879, Whistler). 3
'Wapping – The Pool' (1881, Union Art Club). 4
'The Large Pool (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 5
'Wapping (The Pool)' (1887/1888, Whistler). 6
'The Large Pool' (1893, Chicago). 7
'The Large Pool - Wapping' (1903/1935, possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958)). 8

The title 'The Large Pool' was used to differentiate it from The Little Pool 079 and The Tiny Pool 167, but Whistler's original title was definitely 'Wapping - The Pool', and this is the preferred title.

2: Written on and .

3: Whistler to R. Holmes, [October 1878/September 1879], GUW #11306.

4: New York 1881 (cat. no. 152).

5: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 143).

6: List, [1887/1888], GUW #13233.

7: Chicago 1893 (cat. no. 2250).

8: Envelope containing copper plate, Hunterian Art Gallery.


In the left foreground is a wharf with two men standing on it. A pulley is suspended from the tall timber scaffolding at the edge of the wharf. Right across the foreground there are two rows of barges, with figures seated in one near the wharf. A man is rowing a boat just beyond them. Five tall two- and three- masted sailing ships are moored out in the river, with a small tug or steam boat just beyond them, to left. Three Thames barges are sailing down the river to right. In the distance on both sides of the River Thames are wharves, buildings and warehouses of all sizes, some with boats moored beside them.


The Pool of London, in the River Thames. Whistler made four etchings specifically called 'the Pool', namely The Pool 049, The Little Pool 079, The Tiny Pool 167 and this, Wapping - The Pool.