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Salute Dawn

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 207
Date: 1879/1880
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 127 x 204 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Second Venice Set', 1886
No. of States: 4
Known impressions: 32
Catalogues: K.215; M.212; W.185
Impressions taken from this plate  (32)


cathedral, church, customs-house, dawn, gondola, lagoon, palace, panorama, quay, sailing ship, ship.


Variations on the title are as follows:

Possibly 'Venice dawn' (1882, Whistler). 1
'Salute Dawn' (1883, F.A.S.). 2
'Venice Dawn' (1886?, Whistler). 3
'Salute: Dawn' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 4
'La Salute Dawn' (1887, Whistler). 5
'La Salute au point du jour. - (Salute. Dawn)' (1905, Paris). 6
'La Salute: Dawn' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 7

There is a problem with differentiating the several subjects that show Santa Maria della Salute at all times of the day, such as this print, Little Salute 210 and Nocturne: Salute 203. There is also the problem that 'Salute' has a meaning and sounds quite different in English compared to Italian. It is possible that Whistler meant the title to have the double association, and that the etching is a salute to dawn as well as a panorama centering on the distant church. For this reason, the original title, 'Salute Dawn', is preferable.

1: Whistler to T. McLean, 28 August 1882, GUW #13643.

2: London FAS 1883 (cat .no. 49).

3: List of 'Venice 2nd Series', [1877-1903], GUW #13088.

4: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 185).

5: Whistler to W. Dowdeswell, [16 July 1887], GUW #08717.

6: Paris Mem. 1905 (cat. no. 376).

7: Mansfield 1909[more] (cat. no. 212).


A view of Venice, looking across a broad expanse of water, with a gondola in the middle distance, to left of centre. San Marco and the bell-tower are seen to left, with a tall-masted sailing ship at the quayside to right. Two- to four-storeyed buildings line the quayside, and two more bell-towers rise behind. The church of Santa Maria della Salute is seen in the distance, to right of centre, with the church of San Giorgio to right.


Etching: c_K215_01
Panorama: San Giorgio, Santa Maria della Salute and the Doge's Palace.
Photograph M.F.MacDonald, Whistler Etchings Project, 2010.
A panoramic view of the city of Venice, Italy. It includes, at left, the domes of the cathedral of San Marco, and the Doge's Palace in front of the bell-tower; buildings along the Riva degli Schiavoni; just to right of centre, the entrance to the Grand Canal, with the church of Santa Maria della Salute, and then the entrance to the Giudecca Canal. At right is the church and tower of San Giorgio. The view was as usual reversed in the printing. 8

8: Grieve 2000[more], pp.139, 140.

This is one of several panoramas of Venice including The Little Venice 238 and Nocturne 222.