La Vielle aux Loques

James McNeill Whistler American

Not on view

After visiting the Rhineland during a summer–fall tour in 1858, Whistler created this image of an elderly woman sorting rags (loques). He here develops a formula to which he would often return—using an open entrance to frame a receding interior that contains figures and objects. Like "La Mère Gérard" and "La Rétameuse," the artist focuses on an old working woman, dignified but without sentiment. Created late in 1858 this is one of the most complex prints in "Douze eaux-fortes d’après nature" (Twelve Etchings from Nature), the artist's first published set. This impression belonged to Thomas Winans, a Baltimore friend who financed the artist's move to Paris in 1855; Winans kept the print in an album that descendants gave to the Museum.

La Vielle aux Loques, James McNeill Whistler (American, Lowell, Massachusetts 1834–1903 London), Etching and drypoint on tan chine on off-white wove paper (chine collé); third state of four (Glasgow)

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