Little Venice (The Little Venice)

Series/Portfolio: First Venice Set ("Venice: Twelve Etchings," 1880)

Artist: James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London)

Publisher: The Fine Art Society, London

Date: 1879–80

Medium: Etching and drypoint; second state of two (Glasgow); printed in black ink with selectively wiped ink on medium weight cream wove paper

Dimensions: Plate: 7 5/16 × 10 7/16 in. (18.5 × 26.5 cm)
Sheet: 7 3/8 × 10 9/16 in. (18.7 × 26.8 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917

Accession Number: 17.3.85


Born in New England, Whistler studied painting in Paris and then based himself in London. There he introduced the French practice of etching and lithographing as seriously as one painted. In his prints of the river Thames, as in those of the lagoons of Venice, Whistler developed subtle tonal variations that alluded dreamily to a triumph of water and air over substance.