Nocturne: Palaces

James McNeill Whistler American

Not on view

Nocturne: Palaces is one of the most evocative of Whistler’s Venetian etchings. A gas lantern casts rays of light into the gathering darkness and acts as a focal point for a meeting of palace walls, canals, and a footbridge veiled by atmospheric haze. The delicate streaking of the ink in the upper and lower portions of the sheet creates effects similar to monotype achieved through careful wiping. Whistler trimmed the print to the plate line, leaving a small tab where he inscribed his butterfly signature, establishing the idea of a limited edition. He printed this work three years after returning to London from Venice, for an 1883 exhibition at the Fine Art Society. In 1886, it was published by Dowdeswell and Thibaudeau in Twenty-Six Etchings (the "Second Venice Set").

Nocturne: Palaces, James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London), Etching and drypoint; printed in dark brown ink on drum mounted medium weight ivory laid paper.

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