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Thames Warehouses, from Thames Tunnel Pier

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (etched)

  • Date:

    1859 (etched)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given in memory of Alexander Allan Paton, CB, by his sister, Mary Paton

  • 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, ‘Thames Warehouses, from Thames Tunnel Pier', from the Thames Set, etched 1859. Early impression. In addition to early impressions, the plate was 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. River view: in the foreground a boat, low in the water, laden with goods covered by a tarpaulin. Behind, warehouse buildings on the river banks recede into the distance, the first of which is signed ‘Fred Vink and Co., Rope and Sail Makers.’ Ships and a forest of masts on the horizon.

Place of Origin

London (etched)


1859 (etched)


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

Materials and Techniques

Etching on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Whistler 1859'
Signed and dated in plate bottom right.


Height: 7.6 cm plate, Width: 20.3 cm plate, Height: 24 cm paper, Width: 13.2 cm paper

Descriptive line

James Whistler, 'Thames Warehouses, from Thames Tunnel Pier', from the Thames Set, 1859.

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

Wedmore, Frederick. Whistler's Etchings, A Study and a Catalogue. London: Colnaghi & Co, 1899. No.35, 1st state.
Kennedy, Edward G. The Etched Work of Whistler. San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1978. No.38, 1st state.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1936, London: Board of Education, 1937.


Printing ink; Paper


Etching (printing process)

Subjects depicted

Warehouses; Docks




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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