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Long Venice

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 211
Date: 1879/1880
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 128 x 311 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Second Venice Set', 1886
No. of States: 8
Known impressions: 37
Catalogues: K.212; M.209; W.182
Impressions taken from this plate  (37)
The copper plate is an unusually long, thin rectangle, emphasizing the horizontal panoramic format.
Whistler went to local Venetian copper smiths to have additional plates made. Ten of the Venetian copper plates, including The Palaces 223, are distinguished by small flakes or shavings of copper on the back. Four other plates now missing, including Whistler's smallest plate, The Little Venice 238, may have come from this same shop. 8

8: Getscher 1970[more].

These 'flaked' plates may have been ordered with particular subjects in mind. For instance, extremely narrow plates emphasized the horizontal format of Long Venice and the vertical format of The Venetian Mast 219. 9 Several of these subjects on 'flaked' plates are views of the lagoon with shipping, done probably during the summer of 1880, and others are highly detailed, elaborate subjects, intended to satisfy the Fine Art Society commission, and possibly made when Whistler considered returning, late in 1880.

9: MacDonald 2001[more], pp. 66-67.

Long Venice was published by Messrs Dowdeswell and Alphonse Wyatt Thibaudeau (ca 1840- d.1892) with A Set of Twenty-six Etchings (the 'Second Venice Set') in 1886. The copper plate was then cancelled with crossed diagonal lines across the centre.

The plate is now in the Art Institute of Chicago. 10

10: Acc. No. 1933.710.