Old Putney Bridge and Toll Gate

Old Putney Bridge and Toll Gate



The son of a Chelsea boat-builder, he and his brother Henry ferried Whistler on the Thames. Already an amateur artist and when he first met Whistler in 1863, he and Henry became his unpaid studio assistants and pupils. Whistler’s was an influence and friendship that was to effect the rest of his life leading him to produce not only Whistlerian oils and portraits but a wonderful series of watercolours and drawings recording the streets and river life of a changing Chelsea and the Thames. His reputation was established by an exhibition at the Goupil Gallery in 1911 although his fame was short lived and, rejected by Whistler, he died in the poorhouse in 1930. Old Putney Bridge was opened in 1729 and at the time was the only bridge across the Thames between London Bridge and Kingston Bridge. A toll bridge, it featured tollbooths at either end of the timber-built structure. It was badly damaged by the collision of a river barge in 1870 and the eventually the entire bridge was demolished and replace with the present stone bridge in 1886. Old Putney Bridge was the subject of a Whistler etching.


Height 43.18 cm / 17 "
Width 64.77 cm / 25 "