The Doorway, from the "Twelve Etchings", or the "First Venice Set"Artist(s)James Abbott McNeill WhistlerArtist NationalityAmerican (North American)Object Creation Date1879-1880Medium & Supportetching, drypoint, and roulette on laid paper on laid paperDimensions
11 9/16 in x 7 15/16 in (29.37 cm x 20.16 cm);22 1/16 in x 18 1/8 in (56.04 cm x 46.04 cm)Credit LineBequest of Margaret Watson ParkerSubject matter
Whistler discovered "a Venice within Venice" that had never captured the attention of earlier artists. Rather than focus on Venice's grand public spaces, he worked along the back canals, in both pastel and in etching, finding topics of local color and rich detail. This doorway belonged to a chair repair shop. In the first state--and again in the last state--the woman's stooping gesture is given significance by the cloth in her hand; she is washing out dye in the canal. In this state the fabric has not been redrawn yet.Physical Description
A large ornate waterdoor faces onto a canal. On the threshold near the water, a woman bends down towards the surface of the canal. Behind the doorway stands another figure in the shadows and beyond is another opening to a small square or open-air workspace. The doorway consists of a large lunette shaped transom light over the door and the portal is flanked on either side by large arched windows. The glazing is all fitted into a fine network of mullions in either square on diamond patterns. The door and windows are each framed by carved pilasters and engaged corinthian capitals. Below the windows are bands of rosettes and other carved ornaments that extends to the water level.Primary Object Classification Print Primary Object Typeintaglio printCollection AreaWesternRights
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reflections (perceived properties)
steps (stair units)