Ponte del Piovan
|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||229 x 154 mm|
|Signed:||butterfly at right|
|Set/Publication:||'Second Venice Set', 1886|
|No. of States:||6|
|Catalogues:||K.209; M.206; W.179|
|Impressions taken from this plate (40)|
Six states are known before cancellation.
Signed with a butterfly on the bridge, at right.
The composition is complete except for details on the buildings; the two figures at the centre of the bridge and the arched window above them are lightly outlined.
The butterfly signature on the tab of the impression illustrated is not in Whistler's hand.
There is new work on the two figures at the centre of the bridge, including stronger outlines and facial features on the shorter figure; the arched window above the two figures is more clearly outlined; new shading is added to the four windows on the storey above the arched window.
Considerable new work includes clouds in the sky, more detail on the façades of the three buildings, shading on the roof or awning below the balcony on the house at centre, faint outlines of a figure at left of the two figures at the centre of the bridge, and more shading on the parapet and wooden supports of the bridge as well as on the water of the canal.
The faintly outlined figure at left of the two figures at the centre of the bridge has been replaced by the head and shoulders of a smaller figure; two new patches of heavy shading are added to the parapet of the bridge, below the new figure and just to the right of centre at the bottom; many new drypoint verticals are added to the water in the foreground; a series of horizontal lines is added to the water at lower right.
There are a number of horizontal drypoint lines on the sky at upper centre; a series of short diagonal lines extend the top of the right window frame, just above the bridge at left; new shading is added to the bridge parapet at the upper and lower corners; a band of close vertical lines now shades the underside of the bridge at left; a patch of drypoint diagonals is added below the horizontal support at left.
During the course of printing, all the new drypoint work added in this state and the short figure at the centre of the bridge, who appeared in the previous state, became worn. As a result, many later impressions of this state show only traces of the drypoint lines. Kennedy catalogued impressions with worn shading as a different state, assuming that Whistler had removed the lines. However, faint drypoint lines remain visible under magnification, so it is clear that they were not intentionally removed. An example of an impression with worn drypoint lines is included below.
Published in this and the following state by Messrs Dowdeswell and Thibaudeau with the Twenty-six Etchings (the 'Second Venice Set') in 1886.
Some lines on the two figures at the centre of the bridge are strengthened, most notably the hat of the figure at left, which now appears to have a brim at the front; longer diagonal lines are added to the top of the right window frame, just above the bridge at the left; fine vertical lines are added to the reflection of the bridge at lower centre and verticals and slight diagonals are added to the water at lower right.