Home > The Catalogue > Browse > Subjects > Etchings > Etching

Long Lagoon

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 215
Date: 1879/1880
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 154 x 228 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left (2)
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Second Venice Set', 1886
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 40
Catalogues: K.203; M.200; W.169
Impressions taken from this plate  (40)


canal, cathedral, church, gondola, lagoon, panorama, sailing ship, sea.


Variations on the title are minor, as follows:

'The long Lagoon' (1882, Whistler). 1
'The Long Lagoon' (1883, FAS). 2
'Long Lagoon' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 3
'Long Lagoon' (1890/1891, Whistler). 4

'The Long Lagoon' is the original and preferred title.

1: Whistler to T. McLean, GUW #12990.

2: London FAS 1883 (cat. no. 14).

3: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 169).

4: List, [1890/1891], GUW #13236.


A panoramic view of Venice, Italy, on a cloudy day. In the middle distance are two posts reflected in the lagoon. Beyond are two similar posts and three gondolas. In the distance, at right are two ships and at the left is a sailing boat, in front of a large church with a dome.


The city of Venice, Italy, seen from the lagoon, was drawn on site and therefore reversed as usual in the print. It is described as follows: 'One of the most expansive of the Venetian views, it looks west across the Lagoon to the Giudecca, with the dome of the Redentore church, seen probably from the area around the Public Gardens, or from a boat nearby.' 5 This view, drawn accurately on the copper plate, is reversed, as usual, in the print.

5: 'The Venice Sets', Fitzwilliam Museum website, (accessed 2010).


One of the most minimalistic etchings of the Venice set, Long Lagoon nevertheless had considerable presence when grouped with other atmospheric etchings, such as The Little Venice 238, and contrasted with the highly detailed images, such as The Bridge, Santa Marta 201.