The Avenue, Cremorne Gardens, London. c. 1866. Pencil, ink and watercolor. 7 7/8 x 10 3/4 (sheet 10 1/2 x 12 3/4). Exhibited at the Parkin Gallery. Signed in the image; titled beneath the image, lower left, in the artist's hand. The image appears to depict Whistler and his wife, Beatrix. Housed in an elegant French mat. $1,750.
The Cremorne Gardens occupied a large site running between the Thames and the Kings Road. Opened in 1845 they were noisy and colourful pleasure gardens including restaurants, entertainments, dancing and balloon ascents, which could be entered from the north gate on Kings Road or the Cremorne Pier on the river. Whistler and the Greaves family were frequent visitors before the gardens closed in 1877.
Whistler and Beatrix are walking along the Crystal Platform. A reporter in the Illustrated London News (30 May 1857) admired the structure’s “inclosing ironwork...enriched, by Defries and Son, with devices in emerald and garnet cut-glass drops, and semicircles of lustre and gas jets, which have a most brilliant effect.” The pavilion was about three hundred and sixty feet in circumference. It was encrusted with ornamental pillars, gas jets, and over forty plate-glass mirrors in black frames. In the upper portion of the pagoda (seen here), where the orchestra played, there were seventeen gas lit chandeliers.
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