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Drypoint printed on thin Japanese paper, 1863

The model was Whistler’s agent and mistress Joanna Hiffernan (see Joanna Douglas), who is here depicted rather in the manner of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s drawings of his mistress Fanny Cornforth, which were made around the time that he and Whistler became friends in 1862. There was a tradition associating Weary with Rossetti’s poem about a prostitute called Jenny:

‘Why, Jenny, as I watch you there
For all your wealth of golden hair
Your silk ungirdled and unlaced’

This fine and rare impression was printed in a state before the signature was added but with some of the work seen in the usual ‘second’ state. Whistler liked to print this plate on this very thin, silky Japanese paper.

Given by Sir Herbert Thompson 1920

Collections record: P.2091-R

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