This black-and-white print shows the slightly arching span of an old drawbridge crossing a large body of water. There is a small sailboat with a squarish, white sail almost under the bridge. A faint cityscape is barely discernible on the distant shore. It’s the water, however, that dominates the scene. It takes up the entirety of the fore and middle grounds. It is mostly still but in the center of the scene, moving current is shown in short zigzagging lines that form shadows and movement. Dozens of tiny, dark figures stroll across the bridge, fish from it, or lean on the bridge’s railing. The bridge’s decrepit structural supports appear heavily repaired and reinforced: there are dozens of horizontal planks forming walls around the vertical pilings on which the arched bridge span rests. Whistler’s trademark butterfly signature is prominent on the right lower side of the print in the still part of the river.
Isabella Stewart Gardner kept meticulous records of many of her acquisitions. In keeping with this legacy, object information is continually being reviewed, updated, and enriched in order to give greater access to the collection.