Walter Greaves

Battersea Reach

c.1870

In Tate Britain
Artist
Walter Greaves 1846–1930
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 641 x 768 mm
frame: 888 x 1016 x 66 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1940
Reference
N05216

Display caption

In the 19th century the waterfront at Chelsea, London was busy with barges and steamboats. Greaves painted this stretch of the river Thames several times. Here he includes the steeple of Chelsea Church.

Greaves was the son of a Chelsea boat-builder. He met the artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler in 1863 and they became close friends. Whistler frequently went out on the family’s boats to paint river scenes. Greaves said ‘Chelsea was so beautiful that you couldn’t but paint it. To Mr Whistler, a boat was always a tone. To me, it was just a boat’.

Gallery label, August 2018

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