‘Battersea Bridge’ drawing by Walter Greaves



Walter Greaves drawing of Battersea Bridge. A nocturne. Greaves has deliberately painted the background in a thick grey wash, drawn in pencil and with chalk highlights in white. It was housed in its original frame with a William Darby Gallery  label on verso. Darby, an art dealer, later of Browse & Darby. The drawing has been laid onto card and appears on close inspection to have had some restoration. Creases appear to have been flattened and the surface touched up in the left hand side of the image and possibly to the lower right corner. Possibly a letter ‘G’ in the lower right corner.  Purchased at auction with the other Walter Greaves etching that we have for sale. Both from the Seward J Kennedy collection.

Size of margins to drawing under mount 265 x 320mm (10 x 14 inches approx)

There are several drawings of the old Battersea Bridge from this standing point, all from slightly different angles. It must have been a favorite spot of Greaves.

‘In 1766 Earl Spencer was empowered by Act of Parliament  to build a bridge at this spot in place of the old ferry. The bridge was commenced in 1771 and completed in 1772. It was a delightful structure of timber, built in nineteen spans  of varying widths, between piers composed of massive beams. Beaver  gives the length as 726 feet and width 24 feet, and it had a “slight curvature to the west.” It was repaired in 1873, but in the autumn of 1885 it was pulled down, a bridge for foot passengers being erected until ultimately replaced by the existing iron bridge, begun in 1886.’  www. british-history-ac-uk 

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