Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

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The Riva - Sunset; red and gold


  • Date unknown: said to have been in the collection of Robert Woods Bliss (1875–1962) , Dunbarton Oaks, Washington, DC.
  • Date unknown: said to have been in the collection of William Rolfe, Jr.
  • 1962: sold at auction, Christie's, London, 22 June 1962 (4) as 'Sunset on the Giudecca, Venice' and bought by 'Rogers';
  • 1962-1963: with Mortimer Brandt, New York dealer, as 'Sunset on the Giudecca, Venice' (catalogue, repr.).
  • 1966: sold at auction, Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, 20 June 1966 (lot 13) as 'Nocturne. The Riva. Venice' and bought by Agnew's, London dealers;
  • 1966: bought on 11 October by Yale University Art Gallery from the Mary Gertrude Abbey Fund.

Further details are given in MacDonald 1995 (cat. rais.) [more] (cat. no. 807).


  • 1881: Venice Pastels, Fine Art Society, London, 1881 (cat. no. 6) as 'The Riva – Sunset; red and gold.'

The London Standard on 31 January 1881 praised this pastel highly:

'The general favourite will probably be "The Riva, Sunset, Red and Gold." You are looking along the water towards the horizon sky, where its oolours are deepest — a mingling of many little clouds, red, orange, purple and blue — the dancing water catching the red and the gold. Not much work has been required to convey the effect that was observed, but it has been faultless work. Its few strokes are all frank and visible; there is not a touch that does not tell, and not one that can be harmlessly removed.'

Last updated: 11th February 2021 by Margaret