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Mother Gerard

Mother Gerard

Etching printed on wove paper, 1858

Made in Paris in the summer of 1858 before Whistler’s trip to the Rhine. This woman from a bourgeois background had fallen on hard times and sold flowers at the door of the bal Bullier, a popular dancehall on the Avenue de l’Observatoire (Whistler also etched one of the dancers from the bal Bullier). Whistler is supposed to have once invited her on a day out to the country with friends. She was also the subject of one of Whistler’s first two paintings submitted to the Paris Salon in the following year.

In this trial proof the clothing and shading have not yet been finished; compare the later state below.

Given by G. J. F. Knowles 1921

Collections record: P.2073-R

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