Van Rysselberghe, a leading avant-garde artist active in Belgium at the end of the nineteenth century, made this drawing as an independent work while visiting Maria Sèthe, the woman shown sewing, and her mother at their rented summer house in Thuin, near the French border. The scene of quiet concentration also includes the artist’s wife reading at right. Inspired by the Pointillist paintings of Georges Seurat, Van Rysselberghe developed a drawing technique that involved applying small dashlike marks in varying densities to achieve the rich gradation of tone and luminous effects seen here. He exhibited this drawing with Les XX, the influential artists’ association in Brussels, of which he was a founding member.
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Artist:Theo Van Rysselberghe (Belgian, Ghent 1862–1926 Saint Clair)
Medium:Conté crayon; framing lines in conté crayon (or graphite?), by the artist
Dimensions:Sheet: 17 1/16 × 20 in. (43.4 × 50.8 cm)
Credit Line:Walter and Leonore Annenberg Acquisitions Endowment Fund, 2015
Signature: At lower right, signed with monogram and dated "18 ToVR 90" (ToVR in ligature) in brush and orange-red gouache
Octave Maus, Brussels; his wife, Madeleine Octave Maus, née Gevaert, Brussels; her executor, Eugénie Hauman (Belgian), until 1962 or later; Caroline Hauman (Belgian); André Flausch (Belgian); private collection; Vendor: Belart International (Belgian)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 12–July 18, 2016.
Vienna. Albertina. "Seurat, Signac, Van Gogh. Ways of Pointillism," September 16, 2016–January 8, 2017.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Anniversary Highlights," October 8, 2020–January 18, 2021.
Les XX, Bruxelles: Catalogue de la huitième exposition annuelle [cat. exh. Brussels 1891]. Les XX, Brussels, 1891, cat. no. Van Ryselberghe, no. 6.
J. Krexpel Les XX La revue blanche: Série belge. 3, no. 12 (March), [Brussels], 1891, 380.
Théo van Rysselberghe: Exposition d'ensemble [cat. exh. Brussels (Galerie Giroux) 1927]. Galerie Giroux, Brussels, Brussels, 1927, cat. no. possibly p. 34, no. 3 or 4.
Exposition centennale de l'art belge, 1830-1930: Un siècle d'art: Peinture, sculpture, gravure et médailles, gravure, arts décoratifs et appliqués, architecture [Exh. cat. Brussels (Palais des Beaux-Arts) 1930]. Librairie Nationale d'Art et d'Histoire, Brussels, Brussels, 1930, cat. no. part of no. 414.
Gustave Vanzype "Notice sur Théo Van Rysselberghe" Annuaire de l'Académie royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique. Maurice Lamertin, 98, Brussels, 1932, p. 130.
Paul Eeckhout Retrospective Theo van Rysselberghe [Cat. exh. Ghent (Museum voor Schone Kunsten) 1962]. Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, 1962, cat. no. 186.
Paul Eeckhout Rétrospective Théo van Rysselberghe [Exh. cat. Ghent (Museum voor Schone Kunsten) 1962]. Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, 1962.
Théo van Rysselberghe, 1862-1926 [Exh. cat. Luxembourg (Musée d'histoire et d'art) 1962]. Musée d'Histoire et d'Art Luxembourg, Luxembourg, 1962, cat. no. 70.
G. Pogu ] Théo Van Rysselberghe: Sa vie premiers éléments. [Paris], 1963.
Marie-Jeanne Chartrain-Hebbelinck "Les lettres de Van Rysselberghe à Octave Maus" Bulletin des Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique/Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België. Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, 15, nos. 1-2, Brussels, 1966, p. 73, note 1.
Susan Marie Canning A History and Critical Review of the Salons of Les Vingt, 1884-1893 [diss. Pennsylvania State University 1980]. Pennsylvania State University, 1980, 335.
Robert Hoozee, Helke Lauwaert Theo Van Rysselberghe, néo-impressionniste [Exh. cat. Ghent (Museum voor Schone Kunsten) 1993]. Pandora, Ghent, Ghent, 1993, p. 16, included in fig. 15 (essay by Jane Block), no. 76, ill.
Ronald Feltkamp Théo Van Rysselberghe, 1862-1926. Editions Racine, Brussels, Brussels, 2003, ill. p. 199, cat. no. 1890-002.
Olivier Bertrand Théo Van Rysselberghe [Exh. cat. Brussels (Bozar) and The Hague (Gemeentemuseum) 2006]. Mercatorfonds, BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts Brussels, Belgian Art Research Institute, Ghent and Brussels, 2006, p. 256, ill. p. 214.
Jane Block, Ellen Wardwell Lee The Neo-Impressionist Portrait 1886-1904 [Exh. cat. Brussels (ING Cultural Centre) and Indianapolis (Indianapolis Museum of Art) 2014]. Yale University Press, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, New Haven and London, 2014, p. 47, included in fig. 23, no. 49, p. 183, under no. 51 (essay and entries by Jane Block).
Ways of Pointillism. Heinz Widauer, Hirmer Verlag, Vienna, 2016, cat. no. 57, pp. 148, 152, and 285, ill.
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