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

Doorway and Vine

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 191
Date: 1879/1880
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 233 x 170 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower right
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: 'Second Venice Set', 1886
No. of States: 18
Known impressions: 45
Catalogues: K.196; M.193; W.161
Impressions taken from this plate  (45)


archway, building, canal, child, courtyard, , people, vine.


It has almost always been known by one title, as in the following examples:

'Doorway and Vine' (1883, F.A.S.). 1
'Doorway with vine' (1882, Whistler). 2
'Doorway & vine' (1886, Whistler). 3
'Doorway and Vine' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 4

Clearly 'Doorway and Vine' is the generally accepted title.

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

2: Whistler to Queen Victoria, 12 September 1882, GUW #13072.

3: Whistler to W. A. Killen, 21 October 1886, GUW #08660.

4: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 161).


A view across a courtyard to a wide archway leading to a shadowed passage through a building to a canal. A vine climbs up the wall to left and above the archway. To right of the arch is a small shuttered arched window. Above the arch is a window with open shutters, with two figures looking out from a dark interior. The archway itself has a carved wooden architrave, substantial roof beams, and at the far end, a rectangular window above the square exit. A man stands at the right of the passage by the canal. There are several figures on the far bank of the canal, and a window with open shutters in the building behind them.


Venice, Italy. The exact site has not been identified, although it is a sottoportego similar to ones off the Campo Santa Margarita. 5 A comparable setting - with similar carved wooden beams - is seen in The Beggars 190.

5: Grieve 2000[more], pp. 131, 192, fig. 159.