Label Text: San Biagio is set in the sestiere Castello on the long quay that stretched southeast from Molo in front of Piazza San Marco and terminated just beyond Strada Nuova dei Giardini (present day Via Garibaldi), just east of where Whistler lived in the last five months of his stay in Venice. Beyond the quay stood a collection of ramshackle buildings and squeros (boatyards) fronted by a short slope of land that allowed boats to be pulled ashore for work, and one prominent block of buildings, containing the Calle and Corte de la Colonna, that provided low-income housing.
The southwest facade of the complex is penetrated by two imposing arches that frame the underpasses providing access to the interior spaces. The Church of San Biagio stands one hundred and fifty yards northwest, adjacent to Casa Jankowitz where Whistler lived. Why Whistler gave the plate this title remains unclear; however, he may have simply conflated the two places by 1886 when he decided to include the etching in the Second Venice Set.