Venice Harbor

citation

Maker(s)
Artist: James McNeill Whistler (United States, 1834-1903)
Historical period(s)
probably 1879
Medium
Watercolor on paper
Dimensions
H x W: 12.2 x 27.8 cm (4 13/16 x 10 15/16 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Accession Number
F1905.118a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Watercolor

Keywords
United States, water
Provenance

To 1905
Thomas Way Sr. (1827-1915), London, or Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), London, to 1905 [1]

From 1905 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), purchased from Thomas Way Sr. or Thomas Robert Way in 1905 [2]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [3]

Notes:

[1] See Original Whistler List, Paintings, pg. 20B, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Thomas Way Sr. and his son, Thomas Robert Way, were lithographers who worked closely with Whistler on several of his projects. They helped with the printing of his etchings, as well as the printing of Whistler’s promotional materials. Both Thomas Way Sr. and Thomas Robert Way owned many Whistler works. Thomas Way Sr. acquired several of these works at the time of Whistler’s bankruptcy, and he passed some of them on to his son (see The Correspondence of James McNeill Whistler, 1855-1903, ed. Margaret F. MacDonald, Patricia de Montfort and Nigel Thorp, On-line Edition, People, biographies of Thomas Way and Thomas Robert Way; http://www.whistler.arts.gla.ac.uk/correspondence).

Charles Lang Freer acquired many Whistler pieces from the Ways. However, museum records do not always specify whether it was the younger or elder Way who was the source of a particular object. Further, archival sources indicate that the junior Way sometimes acted on behalf of his father: whilst negotiating the sale of his own Whistler works to C.L. Freer, he would concurrently negotiate the sale of some of his father’s Whistler works to Freer. In cases where it is unclear whether it was the junior or senior Way who actually owned a piece acquired by C.L. Freer, the provenance record will simply state that the object was purchased from “Thomas Way Sr. or Thomas Robert Way.”

[2] See note 1.

[3] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919
Thomas Robert Way (C.L. Freer source) 1861-1913
Thomas Way Sr. 1837 - 1915

Label

One of only two watercolors Whistler is known to have completed while in Venice, Venice Harbour depicts a view from the public gardens, looking northwest toward St. Mark's basilica. The brown tower left of center is the Campanile, which rises behind the pale facade of the Doge's Palace. Along with a related pastel Whistler titled The Giudecca: Winter; grey and blue (now in a private collection), Venice Harbour was probably completed in November or December 1879.

Collection Area(s)
American Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
Rights Statement

Copyright with museum