The Slipper

A work made of etching and drypoint with foul biting in black ink on cream japanese paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching and drypoint with foul biting in black ink on cream japanese paper.

Date:

1859

Artist:

James McNeill Whistler
American, 1834-1903

About this artwork

As the current exhibition Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity demonstrates, women in the late 19th century were regularly defined by their attire. Clothing, makeup, and accessories frequently reflected not only a woman’s social status but also her character and morality. Scholar Justine De Young has observed of the period, “Dressing fashionably and in good taste thus became one of the central concerns of a bourgeois woman’s daily life, as not merely her appearance but also her reputation was at stake.” The same strict rules of public presentation did not necessarily apply, however, to the private, domestic sphere—as the images in this gallery illustrate. Shown here are women in the process of dressing or undressing; relaxing in their underclothes, nightgowns, or morning dress; or in the most private of moments: sleeping or reclining nude. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s print portfolio Elles most likely depicts prostitutes during the course of the day, but these prints could easily represent the interior life of any woman, as they illustrate common boudoir behaviors: the toilette, lounging in bed, grooming, and conversing with friends. Prints by Childe Hassam, Edvard Munch, James McNeill Whistler, and Paul Gavarni show women wearing peignoirs or dressing gowns. These garments were typically worn by upper class women while they went about their regular morning activities: attending to the servants or the children, catching up on reading and correspondence, and other routine household concerns.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

James McNeill Whistler

Title

The Slipper

Origin

United States

Date

1859

Medium

Etching and drypoint with foul biting in black ink on cream Japanese paper

Dimensions

119 x 80 mm (image/plate); 163 x 134 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

The Charles Deering Collection

Reference Number

1927.6401

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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