1. Glazer, Jacobson, McCarthy, Roeder, wall label, 2019:
Two pivotal events in Whistler's career occurred in 1877 and 1878: a falling-out over the Peacock Room with his primary patron, industrialist Frederick Leyland, and an expensive libel suit against critic John Ruskin. The Ruskin trial transformed Whistler into a celebrity, but it also left him bankrupt. Hoping to recover financially, he accepted a three-month commission from the Fine Art Society of London to produce a set of twelve etchings of Venice. More than a year later, he returned from Italy with fifty etchings, a hundred pastels, several oil paintings, and at least three watercolors. Blurring distinctions between pastel, watercolor, and etching, Whistler manipulated materials to capture the evocative atmosphere of Venice.
2. Kenneth Myers, wall label, 2003:
One of only two watercolors Whistler is known to have completed while in Venice, Venice Harbour depicts a view from the public gardens, looking northwest toward St. Mark's basilica. The brown tower left of center is the Campanile, which rises behind the pale facade of the Doge's Palace. Along with a related pastel Whistler titled The Giudecca-Winter; grey and blue (now in a private collection), Venice Harbour was probably completed in November or December 1879.