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Prints and Drawings
Artist: Mortimer Menpes, British, 1855–1938

Lion of St. Mark

1916–20, based on a composition 1902–4

Etching and drypoint on chine collee

platemark: 42.8 × 27.7 cm (16 7/8 × 10 7/8 in.)
The Arthur Ross Collection
2012.159.104
This view and the one at right are of the square known as the Piazzetta, which lies between Jacopo Sansovino’s Marciana Library and the Doge’s Palace. Mortimer Menpes and Whistler interpreted this important and very recognizable site quite differently. Menpes etched his plates in reverse to show in the final print the actual appearance of the Piazzetta and its constituent parts, especially the blocky fifteenth-century clock tower of Saint Mark’s Basilica and the three large flagpoles opposite Saint Mark’s (to the left of the column). Menpes’s prints are densely etched and heavily inked, which gives them a visual weight and sense of completeness. By contrast, Whistler drew his composition in a sketchy manner and as he saw it; as a result, the view appears reversed in the final print. He also left out the location’s more recognizable landmarks: the basilica and the clock tower.
Geography: 
Made in United Kingdom
Culture: 
British
Period: 
19th century
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Provenance: 

William H. Schab Gallery, New York; Arthur Ross Foundation, New York, to 2012; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.