Images of Chelsea Reach

These two images show different views of Chelsea Reach during the years when Ireland knew this part of the Thames. Top is Walter Greaves’ (1846–1930) representation, showing Albert Bridge and Chelsea Old Church, the latter very severely damaged during the Second World War. Philip Wilson Steer’s (1860–1942) interpretation below is all grey smoke and mist, evidence of his admiration for the paintings of Whistler. Both artists lived in Cheyne Walk in Chelsea (as indeed did Vaughan Williams). Greaves was born there, Steer originally from Birkenhead and educated at Hereford Cathedral School. It is quite possible that Ireland even knew these artists, especially as Greaves, like the composer, was a member of the Chelsea Arts Club.

Nocturne (oil on panel)

Chelsea Reach (w/c on paper, pasted on card)

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