(1846 - 1930)

The Old Archway, Chelsea

SOLD
273738 Category:

Height: 76.2cm

Width: 59.69cm

Framed Height: 125.73cm

Framed Width: 107.95cm

Country: United Kingdom

Medium: Watercolour and pen and ink over traces of pencil

Full Description

Greaves was the son of a Chelsea boat-builder and waterman. He and his brother Henry initially trained as shipwrights but in their spare time drew and painted local views of the Thames and the streets and lanes of Chelsea. In the early 1860s they met Whistler who was to become a close friend and mentor. They took Whistler on the river, acted as studio assistants and became his pupils. The relationship with Whistler lasted until the early 1880s when the irascible master fell out with his hero-worshiping disciples. Walter continued to paint and draw views of the Thames and Chelsea. As with Whistler’s etchings, these were often retrospective views showing the area before the building of the Embankment in the early 1870s, when vast areas of the old waterfront were demolished. Confusion often arises over the dates that appear on his works, as they indicate the date of the retrospective view rather than the date of execution. Much of his life was spent in poverty and in 1922 he was admitted to the Charterhouse as a Poor Brother, where he remained until his death. Walter Greaves exhibited his work in London at the Goupil Gallery and Grosvenor Gallery and in the provinces. His early work was painted in a naïve and primitive style but subsequent paintings shared many characteristics with those of Whistler. His work is represented in the collection of the Tate Gallery and elsewhere. Several exhibition of his work were held at the Parkin Gallery in the 1980s. This work shows the archway by Alldin’s Coal Wharf at the end of Cheyne Walk. The area was demolished during the construction of Chelsea Embankment.