Chelsea in the 1890s was London's bohemian quarter. Whistler and Rossetti lived here, as did the writers Carlyle and Leigh Hunt. The scene is one of several Grimshaw painted of London streets: views of Hampstead, Piccadilly, Fleet Street, Wimbledon and Barnes are known, as well as other views of Chelsea. The present picture shows the tower of Chelsea Old Church from Cheyne Row, looking westwards along Lordship Place. Young and old are juxtaposed in the figures of the young girl selling flowers and the Chelsea Pensioner. The eighteenth century houses which line the left of the street have now been replaced by a mansion block and The Cross Keys public house can be found at the end of the street. From the 1880s, Grimshaw maintained a studio not far from here in Manresa Road, to the north of the King's Road.
We are grateful to Alexander Robertson, Curator, Leeds City Art Gallery, for his help in the preparation of this catalogue entry.