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The Little Lagoon

Not on view

The Little Lagoon

Artist: James A. McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903; active Europe, after 1855)

Date: 1879-1880
Medium: Etching and drypoint on cream-colored wove paper. Printed in black ink.
Overall: 12 5/16 × 8 13/16in. (31.3 × 22.4cm)
Signed: butterfly signature lower right in plate and lower left outside plate margin in pencil
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 93.11
Label Text
Following his 1879 bankruptcy Whistler traveled to Venice to make a series of etchings which are now considered among the masterpieces of nineteenth-century graphic art. One of the prints he made there was the Little Lagoon, which was published in Whistler's first set of Venetian views. Its vertical format and asymmetrical composition is reminiscent of the Japanese prints he admired. In the lower margin Whistler penciled his famous butterfly monogram and the abbreviation "imp." (Latin for impressit), indicating that he personally printed this impression, a circumstance that is highly prized by collectors of Whistler's prints.


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