The Old Rag Woman, No. 10 from Twelves Etchings from Nature (The French Set)

The Old Rag Woman, No. 10 from Twelves Etchings from Nature (The French Set)

1858

James McNeill Whistler

(American, 1834-1903)

Etching

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph King 1922.438

Catalogue raisonné: Kennedy 21

State: II/III

Location

Description

Whistler's first set of prints, the so-called French Set, included domestic and genre scenes, studies of friends and their children, and glimpses of shadowy figures in backstreets, alleyways, and anonymous interiors. His choice of subject and treatment reflected the American ex-patriot's awareness of modern realist trends in French art. This print, made after Whistler's return to Paris from the Rhine, describes an old woman silhouetted in a doorway, thrown into relief by a shadowed interior. Bent with fatigue, she sits among bundles of scavenged rags, gathered by the poor and sold to papermakers. The image resonates with the painful combination of aging and urban poverty.

See also
Collection: 
PR - Etching
Department: 
Prints
Type of artwork: 
Print
Medium: 
Etching

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