Whistler originally painted this screen for his patron, the Liverpool shipping magnate, F. R. Leyland, but instead kept it for his own studio. The scene is an impression of London and the River Thames at night. The clock tower of Chelsea Church can be seen on the left panel. The frame is decorated with Whistler's distinctive butterfly motif. This screen can be seen in the background of the pastel sketch 'Nude Girl in Front of a Screen' by Whistler, also in the Hunterian art collection. The reverse of this screen reveals that this object was once part of a larger work by the Japanese female artist Nampo Jhoshi, painted in 1866. On the reverse of Whistler's scene, birds in an arboreal setting have been painted in the Chinese style.
This object from the collection of the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery was selected by Shan MacDonald who created the Hunterian Art Gallery's Relic Challenge.