Monogramed in plate at lower left
Monogramed butterfly with imp in graphite on tab below plate
In this panoramic view of Venice from the Lido—a recently developed beach resort—Whistler emphasizes the expanse of sea and sky while articulating various church domes and towers, including those of San Marco, and punctuating the stillness of the water with a few gondolas, marked posts, and (on the left) his butterfly monogram. The etched lines are enhanced by a layer of ink (called plate tone) that he applied during the printing process, which progresses from dark to light. Whistler’s minimalist approach received mixed reviews when this etching was exhibited in London as part of the artist’s First Venice Set, with one critic commenting that "In the Little Venice . . . Mr. Whistler has attempted to convey impressions by lines far too few for his purpose."