Pictorial works by Stieglitz, one of the great early masters of the camera, established a new tradition of "fine" art photography. He took photographs of Venice during his European honeymoon in 1894 and published them three years later in Picturesque Bits of New York and Other Studies. His "picturesque bits"—whose exact locations often went unidentified—refer to odd corners of the world possessing extraordinary beauty. This scene showcases local architecture and reflections on the water. With its low vantage point, the composition resembles Whistler’s etchings of Venice canals; however, the medium of photography allowed Stieglitz to use a soft focus that made his works evocative and mysterious. While his wife was not fond of the smells of the Venice canals, Stieglitz was intrigued by Venice’s dualities—light and dark, growth and decay, fluidity and solidity.
"Acquisitions of the Art Museum 1982", Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 42, no. 1 (1983): p. 50-70.
Alfred Stieglitz and W.E. Woodbury, "Picturesque Bits of New York and Other Studies" (New York: R.H. Russell, 1897).