Street in Porto Maurizio

Accession Number

Street in Porto Maurizio

John Taylor Arms

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
etching on paper

19 3/4 in x 14 5/8 in x 11/16 in (50.2 cm x 37.2 cm x 1.8 cm);9 7/16 in x 4 3/16 in (24 cm x 10.7 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Clan Crawford, Jr.

Subject matter
Porto Maurizio is a town on the Mediterranean coast between Nice and Genoa, and is part of Italy’s Liguria region—in 1923, Mussolini merged Porto Maurizio with surrounding communes to create the city of Imperia.
Porto Maurizio is well-known for the old, picturesque narrow lanes, called carrugi, that Arms depicts here. Such subject matter, and Arms' poetic treatment of it, reveal the influence of the nineteenth century European "Etching Revival" and aesthetic movements, and in particular the work of the American ex-patriot James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). Unlike Whistler, Arms continued to live and work mostly in America, and also depicted American subjects in a manner that paralleled the picturesque treatment previously reserved for European subjects such as this one.  

Physical Description
In this strongly vertical composition, a tall archway frames a view of the chatoic maze of further arches, roofs, walls and windows along a small, winding side street. The artist selectively describes various material details, such as the stones and bricks of the walls, and the sagging tile roofs. All elements in the image seem to register the effects of time.
The title “STREET IN PORTO MAURIZIO” is etched by hand in the plate just below the lower left edge of the composition.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
intaglio print

Collection Area

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Picturesque, the
brick (clay product)
etchings (prints)
lanes (roads)
stone (worked rock)
townscapes (built environment)

& Author Notes

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