The Putney Bridge (Whistler added "Old" to the title) crossed the Thames between Fulham and Putney. Built in 1738, it had to be replaced six years after Whistler made this etching, which he sketched from a boat on the river. The bow just visible of the boat partially in the view next to the couple's rowing boat may be the vessel Whistler hired for his work. The spot was considered prime for viewing racing.
Whistler executed studies of bridges, particularly spanning the Thames, in etching, lithography, pastel, and painting. One of his intentions, it seems, was to capture the older structures before they were razed.
C. W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, New York;
Private collection, U.S.A
Kennedy 178, fourth state of four;
Glasgow 185, seventh state of seven, an early impression as described by Margaret MacDonald