The Traghetto, Number 2.

James McNeill Whistler

The Traghetto, Number 2.


Etching and drypoint

9 1/4 x 12 inches


Allinson Gallery, Inc.

Storrs, CT

860-429-2322 - land line

$12,000 - $35,000

More Information

Series: Venice, a Series of Twelve Etchings (First Venice set). Edition 100; Glasgow records 59 known impressions. Illustrated: Print Collector's Quarterly 1 (1911): 53. A fine, atmospheric proof printed in black/brown in on toned laid paper with a partial Strasbourg lily watermark and an '1814' countermark. Monogrammed with the butterfly and annotated 'imp' on the tab in pencil by Whistler. The setting is the courtyard of the Ca' da Mosto, north of the Rialto bridge in the Cannareg. The ferry is seen through a dark archway, while in front a group of men are seated at a cafe, and a tree with falling leaves shows white against the darkness behind. Whistler made a first version of the subject in autumn of 1879, according to Otto Bacher. The second version of this subject was made After the first became overworked, Whistler transferred the lines of the first to a new copper plate so that he could save what he wanted from Traghetto. Then he overworked the plate to create this version. "But there are no such perfect plates in the world as The Beggars, The Traghetto, The Two Rivas, and The Bridge." R.R> and J. Pennell. "With the Venice etchings the matter weaves a spell of enchantment, leading one into a new world of pictorial vision, where everything is poetized quintessentially, and all is lovely. His strokes upon the copper sign, his spaces are melodiousl Look at The Traghetto, and look and look again. You may not take the slightest interest in the four seated men, or even the little girl with the child in her arms, but the pure pictorial qualit6ies of form and tone that convey the impression of unity, repose, vitality ,and infinity, will make you realize that this is one of the greatest etchings ever done. And how Whistler altered and altered that plate, even re-etching the greater part of it, till he achieved the perfection he aimed at." Malcolm Salaman, From Rembrandt to Whistler.

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