North and Central America, United States
Fine and Visual Arts; Prints; Etchings
James Whistler (1834-1903) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts; in his youth he studied art in St. Petersburg, London, and Paris, settling in France after a short career as a draftsman for the U.S. Coast Survey. Although he is known primarily for his paintings, Whistler also produced numerous etchings, lithographs, and drypoints.
In 1879, Whistler was commissioned to do a series of etchings in Venice, and following his relocation to London at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War (1870), he also produced etchings and lithographs depicting English landscapes and architecture.
"Salute: Dawn" is a panoramic view of the city of Venice, including the church of Santa Maria della Salute, from across an expanse of water. San Marco and several bell towers, as well as a gondola and a sailing ship, can also be seen in the image. Whistler produced several etchings depicting the same subject at different times of the day. His characteristic signature – a monogram of his initials within an abstract butterfly – appears at the left. The print hung in the Blue Room of the Deanery along with other etchings by Whistler and several works of the French master, Charles Meryon.
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- Prints made from an etched printing plate, which is a metal plate on which a design is made by coating the plate with an acid-resistant substance, creating a design in the coating, and then exposing the plate to acid, which etches the plate where the metal is exposed. For designs incised directly into a copper plate using a burin or graver, use "engravings (prints)."