April Shower, Venice

Venice has been painted and described many thousands of times,” stated American writer Henry James in 1882, and of all the cities of the world is the easiest to visit without going there.” Perhaps heeding James’s warning, many artists turned their attention to its less familiar corners. Here Bertha Jaques explores the fuzzy imprecision of inclement weather, with umbrella-bearing pedestrians passing through an unnamed piazza. Falling rain hides the surrounding structures in a misty haze, with their mushroomlike chimneys serving as the only clue to the Venetian setting. Jaques was a founding member of the Chicago Society of Etchers and an advocate for the unique expressive powers of this medium. The Venetian etchings of James Whistler inspired her printmaking, long before her first visit to Venice in 1912.

Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano, 2021.

April Shower, Venice
plate: 5 14 × 7 78 in. (13.4 × 20.1 cm) sheet: 7 58 × 10 12 in. (19.4 × 26.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Chicago Society of Etchers

Mediums Description
etching on paper
  • Cityscape – Italy – Venice
  • Cityscape – season – spring
  • Cityscape – weather – rain
  • Figure group
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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