Platemark: 12.5 x 10.1 cm (4 15/16 x 4 in.); Sheet: 28 x 23.8 cm (11 x 9 3/8 in.)
© Delaware Art Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Prasse Collection 1964.110
Catalogue raisonné: Morse 223
Below this print, Sloan wrote a quote from the poem A Ballad upon a Wedding by the 17th-century English poet Sir John Suckling.
While etiquette manuals in the Victorian era restricted eye contact between strangers, such strictures were challenged by the culture emerging in New York City in the first decades of the 1900s. Public transportation provided people watching of the type unheard of just decades before—especially of women unaccompanied on their commute to office or retail jobs. Here, John Sloan depicted a woman lost in a book. Her crossed legs and the hint of a garter are on display. Never one to miss an opportunity for cheeky humor, Sloan added an advertisement behind the girl, reading “Rub with Sloan’s Ointment.”
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