Cheesemongers & Lime Wharf, Duke Street, Chelsea

Cheesemongers & Lime Wharf, Duke Street, Chelsea



The son of a Chelsea boat-builder, he and his brother Henry ferried Whistler on the Thames. Already an amateur artist and when he first met Whistler in 1863, he and Henry became his unpaid studio assistants and pupils. Whistler’s was an influence and friendship that was to effect the rest of his life leading him to produce not only Whistlerian oils and portraits but a wonderful series of watercolours and drawings recording the streets and river life of a changing Chelsea. His reputation was established by an exhibition at the Goupil Gallery in 1911 although his fame was short lived and, rejected by Whistler, he died in the poorhouse in 1930. Many of Greaves’ Chelsea views where retrospective and recorded scenes that were lost during the construction of the Thames Embankment in the 1860s. Duke Street, a lane which linked Beaufort Place with Cheyne Walk, and its picturesque jumble of houses and taverns was one of the victims of the Embankment and was mostly swept away. Between Lime Wharf and Joseph Farnfield’s cheese shop we can just catch a glimpse of the buildings on the Battersea shore on the opposite side of the river.


Height 71.12 cm / 28 "
Width 54.61 cm / 21 "