inscribed in plate: McBey Venice 19 September 1925; signed in ink, l.r.
A self-taught printmaker, McBey quit his job at a Scottish bank in 1910 to travel abroad, serving as an official World War I artist in Egypt and Palestine. McBey’s thirty-two evocative views of Venice, which he first visited in 1924, were strongly influenced by Whistler’s impressionistic etchings of the city. According to one source, McBey often sketched at night in his gondola, "working on a copper plate by the light of three tallow candles in an old tin." At the center of this poetic nocturne of reflections and shadows, a solitary figure plays a violin in a gliding gondola, silhouetted against the brightly illuminated palace facades.
"Acquisitions 1969", Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 29, no. 1 (1970): p. 16-27.