Venetian Views: Venice, Morning, 1995Howard Hodgkin

Venetian Views: Venice, Morning, 1995

Lift-ground etching and aquatint with carborundum printed in colours with hand-colouring in cadmium red, phthalo green-blue shade and carbon black acrylic
On 16 sheets of torn Velin Arches blanc
Signed, dated and inscribed on the second sheet
One of five printer’s proofs aside from the edition of 60
Printed by 107 Workshop, Wiltshire
Published by Alan Cristea Gallery, London
Each Plate: 107 × 168 cm (42 × 66 in)
Each Sheet: 40 × 49 cm (15.7 × 19.3 in)
Overall: 160 × 196.5 cm (63 × 77.3 in)

'Venice, Morning' is one of four prints comprising Hodgkin’s Venetian Views series, which grew out of the artist’s unrealised plan to illustrate Thomas Mann's novel Death in Venice (1912). Among the most complex prints the artist has produced, each print in the series is based on an imaginary view of the city at a different time of day, printed from the same five printing plates. While certain marks and formats are repeated throughout the series, 'Venice, Morning', executed on sixteen separate sheets, is richly coloured and exudes its own distinct mood and emotional tenor. The Venice prints retain the exhilarating immediacy of the artist's paintings in the high drama of their surging, explosive forms.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, catalogue entry.

Although the Venice prints bear no relation to the subject matter of Mann's novel, the book-size scale of the original project is reflected in the small size of the sheets of paper on which the prints were made. The first three of the views -with the exception of 'Venice, Night' which is a diptych- consist of sixteen individual sheets.