back to works by this artist go to previous work   go to next work

James McBey

1883 - 1959

Venetian Night by James McBey

Venetian Night   1930

  Original etching.
Signed and numbered in ink.
Hardie/Carter 254
S 303 x 448 mm; P & I 276 x 428 mm
Superb signed proof impression printed in brownish-black ink on special blue-toned paper. A particularly beautiful, richly inked impression with considerable plate tone, from the only edition of 81 signed and numbered proofs.

The greatest of all of McBey’s Venetian works and the most sought-after of his prints today.

The Venetian plates of James McBey were the consummation of his career as an etcher and were to be his last major achievement in the medium. Venice challenged his needle to work wonders which were to surpass even the finest of his plates in their passion and energy. Produced at the peak of his abilities and at the height of the etching boom, the etchings which he produced of this city stand with the masterpieces of his printed work and remain amongst the most sought after works of the British Etching Revival.

The most enchantingly beautiful of all of James McBey’s Venetian etchings, Venetian Night displays the true magic of the city of Venice with all its underlying charm. In a solitary gondola that drifts along a Venetian canal, a man stands playing the violin, his figure silhouetted against light reflected from the palace beyond. There is a superb sense of depth to this romantic image with its fascinating reflections and shadowy detail. Most of all, it is the sense of solitary beauty in this haunting nocturne which sets it apart from all other Venice etchings, assuring its place amongst the greatest etchings of all time.

James McBey’s brilliant etchings of Venice have always been considered amongst the great masterpieces of the British Etching Revival and of these Venetian Night is the most highly prized.

On blue-toned antique laid paper from an old ledger, with full margins. Very fine original condition. Image surface excellent.