Nocturne in Blue and Silver: The Lagoon, Venice dates from Whistler's extended stay in Venice from September 1879 to October 1880. 1
By April 1880 Whistler was planning to return and told Matthew Robinson Elden (1839-1885): 'I have worked very well -... and shall bring, I hope, ... a large painting - but this last you must keep quite for yourself and the doctor.' 2 However, it is not certain to which, if any, of the extant Venetian oils he is referring: Nocturne: Blue and Gold - St Mark's, Venice [YMSM 213], Nocturne in Blue and Silver: The Lagoon,Venice [YMSM 212], or the missing portrait, A Gondolier [YMSM 216].
It is just possible that he left Nocturne in Blue and Silver: The Lagoon, Venice in Venice with William Graham (1841-1910), who eventually offered to return some canvases to Whistler, in the 1890s, and Whistler answered:
'I shall be glad indeed to have again the paintings I left behind in lovely Venice, though they were but beginnings - It was so good of you to care for them for me - and like all your kindness to me - which I always remember.' 3
Last updated: 4th June 2021 by Margaret