View right to left
recto: Nocturne: Battersea Bridge verso: Nocturne: Battersea Bridge

Nocturne: Battersea Bridge

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (United States, 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
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
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.

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.

Former owner
P. & D. Colnaghi (C.L. Freer source)
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919)
On View Location
Currently not on view
bridge, moon, night, United States
Collection(s) Area
American Art
Web Resource(s)
Google Cultural Institute

Rights Statement
Copyright with museum

As renovation work continues in the Freer Gallery, the Sackler Gallery also will close on July 10, 2017. This museum-wide closure will allow us to completely reinstall our exhibitions and revitalize features to improve your visit. Both spaces will reopen on October 14, 2017, when we will welcome the public back to the Freer|Sackler: two galleries, one destination. For your safety, all visitors will have their bags checked. See the complete list of restricted items and bag sizes.