Label Text: In the spring of 1859, Whistler relocated from Paris to London. Thoroughly entrenched in the Realist aesthetic which embraced depiction of the realities of lower-class life, he soon found inspiration in the working-class activities along the lower reaches of the Thames River. Sketching among the old wooden slips and docks, Whistler sought to capture the attitudes and appearance of the stevedores, sailors, and merchants
of this district.
This print shows two men conversing on the balcony of The Angel public house in the Rotherhithe district of London, overlooking the Thames River. A center for ship repair and commercial warehousing of luxury goods in the 19th century, this bend in the river already had a long history, dating back to the launching of the Mayflower from Rotherhithe docks. The Angel pub still stands today, now within a modern residential district.