Repro ID: PW5491
Title: Millbank, by James Whistler.
Description: Millbank, between Chelsea and Westminster, in the late 1850s. This was number 14 of Whistler's 'Series of Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames and Other Subjects'.
The etching looks towards the water's edge so that the huge monolithic structure of the Millbank Penitentiary towers behind the artist, out of view of this etching. This giant fortress opened in 1816 and stood on the site of today's Tate Britain. It had a central observation tower and was surrounded by a high octagonal shaped wall and moat. On the left bank the dark building in the distance is Lambeth Palace. The image has been reversed. The figures on the shoreline are ambiguous-not boatmen and a man in a top hat looks down on them-all three create an air of surprise.
Creator: James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1834-1903
Credit line: National Maritime Museum, London