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  • Provenance

    Ex-Collection of the Paul Strand Estate
    Christie's New York, 15 April 1992, lot 436
    Robert Klein Gallery, Boston

  • Exhibited

    Paul Strand, An American Vision: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 2 December 1990 - 3 February 1991; Art Institute of Chicago, 26 May - 21 July 1991

  • Literature

    Aperture/National Gallery of Art, Washington, Paul Strand, p. 33

  • Catalogue Essay

    This print is one of only a few examples of images printed from Paul Strand’s 1911 trip to Europe.


    Paul Strand’s atmospheric depiction of Venice from 1911 stands at the pinnacle of his early foray into Pictorialism, a mode of photography that incorporated soft focus and highly technical darkroom and printing techniques, to create a painterly, Impressionist style. Early champions of the medium, such as Clarence H. White, Edward Steichen, and, perhaps most notably, Alfred Stieglitz, unified by their Pictorialist vision, formed the Photo-Secession in 1905 and began exhibiting their works at 291 gallery
    in New York. Two years later, photographer Lewis Hine, at the time a teacher at New York City’s Ethical Culture School, took the school’s camera club, of which Paul Strand
    was a member, to 291. Overcome by the range and beauty of the exhibited works, that day Strand decided that he, too, would eventually become a photographer.

    Upon his high school graduation in 1909, Strand began frequenting New York’s Camera Club, which had become a hub for the leading photographers of the day and
    boasted multiple exhibitions spaces, vast library holdings and numerous darkrooms. It was there that Strand began experimenting with various printing methods and won
    early accolades for his Pictorialist images, especially those of his first trip to Europe in 1911. Indeed, two of Strand’s images from his European sojourn—Versailles and The Plaza—were eventually printed on the Camera Club journal frontispiece that same year. Venice, created during Strand’s trip abroad, indeed embodies the Venetian spirit as well as the tenets of Pictorialism. The soft focus lends a timelessly ethereal aura to the scene and the dominance of softly lapping waters reflects the city’s fabled existence as a floating wonderland. Moreover, the platinum printing imbues the image with a lustrous elegance and further accentuates its rich, seductive appeal. As a unique print of the image, Venice is among the rarest and earliest examples of Strand’s long-lasting and groundbreaking contribution to the field of photography.

IMPORTANT PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE COLLECTION OF DR. ANTHONY TERRANA

22

Venice, Italy

1911
Unique platinum print.
9 1/2 x 12 1/2 in. (24.1 x 31.8 cm)

Estimate
$180,000 - 220,000 

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs
[email protected]
+ 1 212 940 1245

Important Photographs from the Collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana

2 & 3 April 2013
New York