James McNeill Whistler American

Not on view

Tone and atmosphere dominate many of Whistler’s Venetian etchings, and tonal wiping here suggests night falling across the Bacino (Basin of Saint Mark’s). We look toward the entrance of the Giudecca Canal at a large sailing ship anchored to the left of San Giorgio Maggiore. Equal weight is given to real and reflected forms, and gondolas, formed by smudged drypoint lines, appear as though through rising mist. The artist began to work on the plate soon after he arrived in September 1879 and the print was published by the Fine Art Society in December 1880 as part of Venice, a Series of Twelve Etchings (the "First Venice Set"). As in most of Whistler’s etchings, the image reverses the actual view.

Nocturne, James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London), Etching and drypoint, printed in black ink on heavy cream Japan paper; sixth state of nine (Glasgow)

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.