He moved a great deal around London, and lived in
Wapping and Rotherithe while producing his etchings, to better observe
Throughout the 1860s his output changed dramatically, as he developed
a decorative and vivid style which eventually ensured him lasting
recognition, although it was poorly received at the time. In fact,
Whistler is famous for winning a court case against the critic John
Ruskin, who with typical acidity declared Whistler’s Nocturne
in Red and Gold little more than “flinging a pot of paint
in the face of the public”; after which Whistler was left
bankrupt and moved to Venice to be with his then- mistress.
He returned to London in 1880, exhibiting with greater success;
and lived in Hampstead with his wife Beatrix until her death in
Here on the 1861 census we can see him living at 15 Hemus Terrace,
Chelsea aged 26, with his father William as his lodger.
He died at 74 Cheyne Walk in Chelsea in 1903.