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ID number:  BIRBI-39.12
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Whistler, James Abbott McNeill (1834-1903)
Title / Object name:  La vieille aux loques (The Old Rag-Picker)
Object type:  Print
Culture:  British
Date made:  1858
Materials:  Etching
Measurements:  206 x 146 mm
Provenance:  Purchased from Messrs. P. & D. Colnaghi, 1939, for £12.

An old woman sits in a doorway absorbed in sorting rags. Although the rag picker is shown as poor and frail, her focus and disengagement from the viewer creates a calm and contemplative image. The framing device of the doorway ensures a sense of separation and self-containment. This was one of a group of twelve works that Whistler published as Twelve Etchings after Nature. The images reflected the contemporary trend in French art to focus on ordinary people.

Notes:  Third state.

1 Related People

Whistler, James Abbott McNeill
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