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Riva, No. 2

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 230
Date: 1879/1880
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 211 x 307 mm
Signed: butterfly at upper left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Second Venice Set', 1886
No. of States: 1
Known impressions: 44
Catalogues: K.206; M.203; W.175
Impressions taken from this plate  (44)


awning, boat, bridge, canal, church, clocktower, genre, gondola, riva, panorama, people, quay, sailors, sea, shipping, stall.


Minor variations on the title are as follows:

'Riva No. 2' (1883, FAS). 1
'The Riva, Number Two' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 2
'Riva No. 2' (1890/1891, Whistler). 3
'The Riva. No. 2' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 4

'Riva, No. 2' is the preferred title, based on the original title.

1: London FAS 1883 (cat. no. 24).

2: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 175).

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

4: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 203).


A view looking down on the Campo San Biagio, to a bridge over a canal, at upper left. To right of the bridge is an awning supported by four poles. Nearby, at right, boats are moored beside some steps at the quayside . On the far side of the bridge is a large two-storey building, and beyond is a line of buildings following the curve of the Riva and ending with the campanile and domes of San Marco, at upper right. Out in the bay are gondolas, and in the distance are several sailing ships moored by the quayside. In the foreground at right is a group of men, two of them seated, and behind them a little table with bottles on and by it. Some people are standing in the shade of the awning, and more stand or walk along the Riva and the bridges.


Etching: c_K192_01
Campo San Biagio and Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, 2006.
Photograph © M.F.MacDonald, Whistler Etchings Project.
The view was probably done from a first floor corner room at the Casa Jankowitz, now the Pensione Bucintoro, at No. 2135, Castello, in Venice, Italy. The view was as usual etched correctly on the copper plate and therefore appears reversed in the prints. Whistler etched a similar view in The Riva 229.

In the foreground is the curving quayside of the Campo San Biagio. In the distance, the Riva degli Schiavoni leads to the Piazzetta and San Marco. The bridge at left crosses the Rio de l'Arsenal, and behind it is an old military bakery on the Riva de la Ca' di Dio. The leaning campanile behind the buildings is San Giorgio dei Greci with the church known as La Pietà beyond, and the dome of San Zaccaria visible beside its roof. At far right are the domes of the cathedral of San Marco. 5

Etching: c_K206_02
Otto Henry Bacher (1856-1909), The view from Whistler's window, etching, 1880. 6

Otto Henry Bacher (1856-1909) etched several views from Whistler's window, one of which is reproduced above. 7 Frank Duveneck (1848-1919) also etched a similar view, from his lodgings at the Casa Kirsch, in two etchings later called, like Whistler's, Riva degli Schiavoni, No.1 and No.2, and a third view in vertical format, The Riva or View of Shipping from the Riva from the Casa Jankowitz. 8 The view was drawn in reverse on the copper plate by Duveneck so that it appears in the correct orientation when printed.

5: Grieve 2000[more], pp.107-109, fig. 126.

6: Bacher 1908[more], repr. p. 27.

7: Ibid, p. 6.Illustrated Catalogue of Etchings and Engravings. Otto H. Bacher, Frederick Keppel & Co., nd., cat. nos. 15, 17, repr. (New York Public Library Print Room).

8: Grieve 2000[more], p. 109, figs. 127-8; Poole, Emily. 'The Etchings of Frank Duveneck', Print Collector's Quarterly, 1938, Vol. 25, Nos. 3-4 (cat. nos. 12, 13); National Gallery of Art, 1943.3.3701-2.