Upright Venice, One of the 'Twenty-six Etchings,' or the 'Second Venice Set'

Accession Number

Upright Venice, One of the 'Twenty-six Etchings,' or the 'Second Venice Set'

James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
etching and drypoint, printed in black ink on laid paper, trimmed to platemark

10 1/16 in. x 7 1/16 in. ( 25.5 cm x 17.9 cm )

Credit Line
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker

Label copy
Upright Venice, from Twenty-six Etchings, or the
Second Venice Set
Etching and drypoint
Second state of four (Kennedy 205)
Bequest of Margaret Watson Parker, 1954/1.388
The dome of Santa Maria della Salute dominates the upper portion of this etching of the point where the Grand Canal empties into the basin of the lagoon opposite the Doges’ Palace. The lower portion of the image shows the embankment below Whistler’s vantage point, near his rooms in the San Biagio region. In the center of the composition, the water is indicated by a large expanse of untouched copper.
Close examination reveals that each vignette has a somewhat different sense of weather: the upper half shows the Salute under blustery clouds, while the scene along the embankment shows men standing along the bank talking comfortably in small groups. Whistler worked on the plate at two different points, beginning it when he arrived in Venice in the autumn of 1879 and completing it roughly six months later.

Subject matter
This sweeping view of the Basin of St. Mark's from the bank of the Riva degli Schiavoni looking over towards the church of Santa Maria della Salute was in fact drawn at two different times of year. The upper portion was probably drawn in the late fall or winter of 1879-80; the lower portion of the Riva, with its figures comfortably standing and talking, was most likely drawn in August of 1880.

Physical Description
Seen from an elevated vantage point, a quay in the foreground with boats anchored nearby and figures talking is balanced in the upper part of the image by a view of buildings along the canals, gondolas, shipping and, just left of center, a large domed church.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
intaglio print

Collection Area

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

cityscapes (representations)
groups of people

3 Related Resources

Map of FFW Lower Level Study Cases
(Part of: FFW Lower Level Study Cases     )
(Part of: Exchange and Influence on Global Trade Routes)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted