I’ve spent the best part of the morning today perusing the Smithsonian’s National Gallery of Art’s collection of etchings by James McNeill Whistler, especially of London, and Venice in the latter part of the 1800s. Apart from having fallen in love with his sketches, and being inspired to begin sketching again, I thought I would take a look through my photos from mine and Bill’s trip to Venice in 2016. In light of the simulated oil paintings I’ve been producing of late, I came across one particular image, the view of Saint Marc’s from across the Laguna at the islet of San Giorgio, that I thought lent itself quite well to the medium of digital paint. I was hoping to capture that timeless quality that Venice seems to have, and to perhaps transport you back in time a little.
Here are a few of Whistler’s etchings of Venice that I particularly like, and I’ve thrown in a Turner painting for good measure. In the Turner painting you can just about see the shaded silhouette of the very same lighthouse above, just to the left of the tower, though captured almost 190 years earlier in 1834.
The National Gallery of Art have recently made available their many art collections to the general public. Images can be downloaded from their archives for free and are open to public use. Finally we get to enjoy many of the works of art that seldom see the light of day, which I think is just brilliant, and how art galleries should be conducting themselves in our digital world, in addition to their physical exhibitions.
Ok, I’ve spent too long on this post now…!