Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

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Nocturne: Venice

Nocturne: Venice dates from 1880. 1

According to the American artist Otto Henry Bacher (1856-1909), who was with Whistler in Venice in 1880, Whistler painted:

'a scene from a café near the Royal Gardens. Night after night he watched the gondolas pass, singly and in groups, with lanterns waving in the darkness, without making a stroke with brush or pen. Then he would return to his rooms and paint the scene, or as much as he could remember, going again and again to refresh some particular impression. The canvas was a wonderful record. The gondolas could be faintly seen in the darkness, the only light spots being the white-clothed gondoliers and the flickering lights and reflections.' 2


1: YMSM 1980 [more] (cat. no. 217).

2: Bacher 1908 [more], pp. 55-56.

Last updated: 18th March 2019 by Margaret