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

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Campanile at Lido


  • 1980: sold at auction, Sotheby's, London, 25 June 1980 (lot 178, repr.) as 'A Venetian Church' and bought by a private collector;
  • 2020: Michael Owen Gallery, New York;
  • 2020-2021: Debra Force Gallery, New York.

The earlier provenance is unknown. The frame originally had the label of FROST AND REED Ltd, Bristol, Clare Street, London, 41 New Bond St W1, and this (now known only from a photogcopy) possibly included the numbers 6694 or 6699, and a date, '08-8-18' or '28-8-28'.


  • 1881: Venice Pastels, Fine Art Society, London, 1881 (cat. no. 27) as 'Campanilo at Lido'.

Whistler's friend, the architect, Edward William Godwin (1833-1886), attended Whistler's exhibition of Venetian pastels in 1881. He wrote a review of the show, deriving it from notes jotted down in a catalogue, which is now in Glasgow University Library. He is, with Thomas Robert Way (1861-1913), the main source for first-hand information on the pastels, and their reception in London. Campanilo at Lido, Fish Market, San Barnaba [M.0761], and Campanile Santa Margherita [M.0773] were criticized by Godwin for 'a somewhat looser handling'. 1 On the other hand, the Athenaeum admired the 'capital rendering of a broad effect with massive shadows' and the art critic of The Times wrote: 'The campanile at Lido, with the slender tower telling strongly against the sky, ever so slightly brushed over with a mere bloom of blue, forms an exceedingly pleasant sketch.' 2


1: Anon. [Godwin, E. W.], 'Review of Venice Pastels Exhibition', British Architect, 4 February 1881, pp. 59-64. Press cutting kept by Whistler, GUL Whistler PC4, pp. 37-38.

2: Anon., 'Mr Whistler's Pastels', Athenaeum, no. 2780, 5 February 1881, p. 206. GUL Whistler PC 4, pp. 37-38. The Times, London, 9 February 1881. GUL PC15, p. 27.

Last updated: 16th February 2021 by Margaret