Whistler’s Thames views on show

The largest exhibition of prints by James McNeill Whistler can be seen at the Fine Art Gallery in Bond Street.

James McNeill Whistler Prints as expected includes a significant number of Thames scenes. Most are dated around 1859 and so there is Old Putney Bridge and Old Hungerford Bridge.

The view from Billingsgate Market shows Old London Bridge seen through a row of masts. The location is confirmed by Southwark Cathedral’s tower in the corner. Whistler who spent a lot of time on the south bank would have known it as just Southwark’s large parish church.

Two men sitting in The Angel pub on Bermondsey waterfront have sight of St Paul’s free of skyscrapers upstream.

Other surprises include a view from Chelsea across the water to Price’s candle factory at Battersea.

But Whister also visited the upper Thames. The Storm records driving rain at Mapledurham above Reading. He was on a camping trip and had rowed there from Sunbury with fellow painter and etcher Matthew White Ridley whose painting of the Pool of London is in the Tate collection.

This is an unusually rich exhibition and marks the Society’s 140 anniversary.

James McNeill Whistler Prints continues at the Fine Art Society, 148 New Bond Street
London W1S 2JT, until Thursday 28 April.

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