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Print - Westminster Bridge
  • Westminster Bridge
    Whistler, James Abbott McNeill, born 1834 - died 1903
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Westminster Bridge

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (printed and published)

  • Date:

    1859 (etched)
    1871 (printed and published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Whistler, James Abbott McNeill, born 1834 - died 1903 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching on paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case EE, shelf 1, box B

During his formative years in Paris in the 1850s, Whistler was influenced by the injunctions of the poet and theorist Charles Baudelaire that artists should take subjects from 'modern life' and seek a new beauty in the teeming cities. Whistler's first major suite of prints, his 'French Set' brought critical acclaim but disappointing sales. Seeking more generous patrons, he moved to London in 1859. Initially under the influence of his brother-in-law Francis Seymour Haden, a pioneer of the 'etching revival', he began a series of superbly observed and finely detailed views of the River Thames with its shipping, thriving wharves and picturesque characters.

Physical description

Etching by James Whistler, ‘Westminster Bridge’, from the Thames Set. Etched 1859. Printed and issued in 1871 as one of the ‘Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames, and Other Subjects,’ by Ellis and Green, 32 King Street, Covent Garden, in editions of one hundred. Signed and dated by the artist in plate. View of the Thames. In the left foreground, two horses wading in the river, with boats beyond. In the middle distance, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge in silhouette.

Place of Origin

London (printed and published)


1859 (etched)
1871 (printed and published)


Whistler, James Abbott McNeill, born 1834 - died 1903 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Etching on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Whistler 1859'
Signed and dated by the artist in plate bottom left.


Height: 7.6 cm, Width: 20.3 cm

Object history note

w.36. K.39, 2nd state. 1871 edition.

Descriptive line

Etching by James Whistler, 'Westminster Bridge', from the Thames Set. Etched 1859, published in 'Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames, and Other Subjects,' London, 1871.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Wedmore, Frederick. Whistler's Etchings, A Study and a Catalogue. London: Colnaghi & Co, 1899. No.36, 2nd state.
Kennedy, Edward G. The Etched Work of Whistler. San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1978. No.39, 2nd state.


Printing ink; Paper


Etching (printing process)

Subjects depicted





Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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