|Medium:||etching and drypoint|
|Size:||257 x 182 mm|
|Signed:||two butterflies at lower left (1); replaced with new butterfly (2-final)|
|Set/Publication:||'First Venice Set', 1880|
|No. of States:||9|
|Catalogues:||K.189; M.186; W.155|
|Impressions taken from this plate (51)|
Nine states are known before cancellation, which occurred in two stages.
Signed with a shaded butterfly, on the column at lower left, and a second butterfly in outline, 18 mm above it.
The composition is mostly complete; a horizontal line extends from the lap of the man seated on the left side of the column across the head of the tallest standing girl at right; there are scratches and some evidence of scraping on the sky and column and in the lower left corner; there is foul biting from acid droplets at lower centre and right.
The impression illustrated has two white, concentric bands of 'picking' at the bottom, resulting from slippage or some other irregularity of pressure during printing. This proof was torn in half and skilfully repaired, leaving only a trace of the tear across the dome of San Marco, the sky and the upper storey of the clock tower.
Only one short, slightly curving, vertical line from the second butterfly signature remains next to the shading along the left side of the column; scratches, scraping marks and acid droplets are removed; the horizontal line extending from the lap of the man seated on the left side of the column base is reduced in strength and now resembles lines on the pavement; fine lines are added to the pavement above the seated man and to left of the children at lower right.
Three birds are removed along the left side of the column, and the remaining birds above them altered in shape; the outlines of the lantern and the lighter shaded area within the clock-tower archway are more distinct; two small patches of parallel lines or scratches appear on the left side of the column; gaps remain in the short horizontal shading along the left edge of the column; fine lines on the pavement above the man seated on the left side of the column base and to left of the children at lower right have worn away or been removed.
New shading at the left side of the column fills in the gaps and widens the band of shading at the centre and near the bottom, above the butterfly; new shading, extending above and below the two lowest birds, is added to the right side of the column; several left to right diagonal scratches (\\\) appear near the top of the column, along with curving horizontal scratches on the sky, among the clouds at the centre; new etched lines are added to the pavement; many small spots of foul biting are visible at the upper corners, along the sides and across the bottom.
A third small, dark patch of foul biting appears at the centre of the column, about 250 mm above the figure seated on the top of the column base; shading within the clock tower archway is slightly altered, mostly affecting the shape of the lighter patch below the lantern, which is now more rectangular.
Some impressions, including the one illustrated, have lighter areas in the plate tone around the foul biting in the foreground, indicating that some burnishing was done in that area.
Foul biting is removed from the upper corners, along the sides and across the bottom; lines widening the band of shading on the left side of the column are mostly removed, along with the three small dark patches on the column.
The diagonal scratches near the top of the column are barely visible on most impressions, and the fine work on the pavement is faint.
Heavy vertical lines now darken the ring of the clock face, above the archway on the clock-tower.
New shading is added to the pavement above and in front of the man seated on the left side of the column base, including distinct perpendicular lines; new diagonal lines darken the right side of the building immediately to left of the clock-tower; the lighter shaded area within the clock-tower archway now covers the lower half of the arch and has a horizontal top with a small rounded area above it.
Three small, contiguous patches of horizontal shading are added to the column above the butterfly; a smaller segment of vertical lines reinforces shading along the left side of the column, next to the upper arches of San Marco; the head and hat of the seated man (facing front on the lower steps of the column base) are reworked and the high crown and wide brim of the original hat have been replaced by a rounded crown and narrower brim.
State 9 (cancelled a)
Cancelled with one curving vertical line.
State 9 (cancelled b)
Further cancelled with a series of right to left diagonal lines and a shaded butterfly over lightly drawn, crossed horizontal and vertical lines.