Reading by Lamplight

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

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

Date:

1859

Artist:

James McNeill Whistler
American, 1834-1903

About this artwork

Long before Whistler conceived of the portrait of his mother, his most important early models were his half-sister, Deborah Haden, and her family. Deborah was married to the physician, print collector, and amateur artist Francis Seymour Haden, and they had three children, Annie, Seymour, and Arthur. During one visit in 1859, Whistler created ambitious but personal depictions of the family, including the multifigure The Music Room (1917.444), which portrays the couple along with Haden’s medical partner, James Traer, as deeply absorbed in their respective activities. Meanwhile, the severe profile of Deborah in Reading by Lamplight anticipates Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

James McNeill Whistler

Title

Reading by Lamplight

Origin

United States

Date

1859

Medium

Etching and drypoint, with foul biting, in black on cream laid paper

Dimensions

160 x 119 mm (plate); 232 x 168 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Bequest of Bryan Lathrop

Reference Number

1917.443

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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