Artist: James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
Ink on paper
H x W: 26.7 x 19.5 cm (10 1/2 x 7 11/16 in)
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view


boat, river, United States

To 1902
Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), London, to 1902 [1]

From 1902 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), given by Thomas Robert Way in 1902 [2]

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


[1] According to Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record.

[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) and Custodian(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Thomas Robert Way (C.L. Freer source) 1861-1913


Unlike the other Savoy Hotel lithographs, The Thames is a lithotint. As in Limehouse and Nocturne, Whistler used washes to draw his design directly on the stone. Whistler did not reverse the drawing, so the printed image is backwards, with Charing Cross Railway Bridge appearing at the left. As one contemporary reviewer noted, The Thames "is a particularly expressive nocturne. The slow, dull tide of the river, the dark, veiled shapes of factory chimneys and warehouses on the further shore, the sky of drifting clouds, have the poetry inherent in Whistler's view of such a scene fraught to him with beauty that touched his soul and gave it peace."

Glasgow Herald, June 1, 1915, quoted in Hunterian Art Gallery, James McNeill Whistler at the Hunterian Art Gallery (Glasgow: Hunterian Art Gallery, 1990), 44.

Whistler lithographs are identified by "C" numbers as described in The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998). This print is C161, third state.

Published References
  • The Lithographs of James McNeill Whistler. 2 vol., Chicago and New York, 1998. pp. 438-443.
Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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