System Number: 11626
Date: 4 February 
Recipient: William George Rawlinson
Repository: Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Call Number: FGA Whistler 181
Credit Line: Charles Lang Freer Papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of the Estate of Charles Lang Freer
Document Type: ALS
Monday night. Feb. 4 -
Dear Mr Rawlinson -
Will you come down tomorrow at about 3 or 4 o'clock while still light and see your large Nocturne - It is finished -
I believe [I] may say that it is one of [the] finest if not perhaps
one of the very finest I ever painted -
If you preferred coming the first thing in the morning it would suit me just as well -
Very Sincerely Yours
J A McN. Whistler
69 [sic]. Cheyne Walk -
[p. 2] 'Whistler'
'Whistler's letter to Rawlinson concerning the completion of "Nocturne Battersea Reach" '
1. 4 February 
When Lindsey Row was renamed and renumbered JW's house became 96 Cheyne Walk. Letters written as from that address date from September 1876 to June 1878. Thus February 1877 or 1878 are the only possible dates for this letter, and February 4th was a Monday only in 1878.
Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Battersea Reach (YMSM 119) was worked on by JW at several different periods. Photographs show it has changed considerably, the Battersea chimneys, for instance, becoming less visible. It may originally date from 1870/1875 and have been reworked in 1878. JW wrote to Mrs Rawlinson in November 1878 mentioning that the picture would soon be delivered, having been varnished by Signor Buggiani (#08112). It may have been cleaned and worked on again in 1892.
Notes written in different hands; the second note, written in red ink, may have been written by Charles Lang Freer (1856-1919), industrialist, collector and founder of the Freer Gallery of Art [more].