Nocturne: Battersea Bridge

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
Pastel on brown paper
H x W: 18.4 x 28.1 cm (7 1/4 x 11 1/16 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


bridge, moon, night, United States

To 1904
P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London, to 1904 [1]

From 1904 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. in 1904 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]


[1] See Original Whistler List, Paintings, pg. 26, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

P. & D. Colnaghi (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919


This vivid pastel is a preliminary study for a two-panel japonesque screen that Whistler painted in 1872 for his patron Frederick R. Leyland (1831-1892).
The only screen that Whistler ever painted, Blue and Silver: Screen, with Old Battersea Bridge is now in the Hunterian Art Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland. The view is towards London, with the Chelsea clock-tower behind the bridge to the left.

Published References
  • Robert H. Getscher. Whistler and Venice. Ann Arbor. .
  • Margaret F. MacDonald. James McNeill Whistler: Drawings, Pastels, and Watercolours : A Catalogue RaisonnĂ©. New Haven, 1995. .
  • The signature of James McNeill Whistler. vol. 15, no. 4. New York, 1962-1963. p. 43.
  • Michael Komanecky. The Folding Image: Screens by Western Artists of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Exh. cat. New Haven, 1984. p. 63, fig. 60.
  • David Park Curry. James McNeill Whistler at the Freer Gallery of Art. Washington and New York, 1984. p. 246, pl. 220.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum