The Palaces, One of the 'Twelve Etchings,' or the 'First Venice Set'
James McNeill Whistler
A series of buildings and gondolas are seen along the edge of a canal. The emphasis on the dark tile roofs is contrasted with the play of window tracery and balconies along the facades of the building.
Artist Life Dates
1834 - 1903
Object Creation Date
Medium and Support
etching, drypoint, and open bite, printed in black ink on laid paper, trimmed to platemark
This painting shows a scene set in a courtyard with high white walls that is open to the sky. Beyond the wall there is flowering vegetation, tall trees and a tower with a balustrade with keyhole shaped openings. There are two clay pots resting on top of the wall and an oriental style carpet hanging over one side. Within this courtyard, there are three women who are looking at two small leopards that wear metal chains and stand in a keyhole shaped opening of the far right wall. The women, grouped together on the far left side, are wearing 19th century Moroccan dress, including richly embroidered, garments, headscarves and shoes. There is bright sunlight streaming into the room which creates shadows on the walls and floor.