Weary, 1863

Not on Viewexpand_more

Etched with lines as wispy and insubstantial as our hold on this figure, Weary is one of James McNeill Whistler's most beguiling prints. The subject's languorous pose has been compared to those in works by the Pre-Raphaelites, a group of English artists opposed to the stringent classical beauty espoused by the Academy. The Pre-Raphaelites instead used their friends as models, as Whistler did here. His subject is Joanna "Jo" Hiffernan, who for six years was his muse and mistress. He shows the Irish beauty with her hair arrayed against a chair, at once open to our gaze but also self-absorbed and distant. The head faintly etched in the lower left corner is a remnant of a previous image, which Whistler neglected to burnish out before reusing the plate for Weary.

Artist Life
1834 - 1903
Accession Number
(Kennedy Galleries, New York). William M. Ladd (1855-1931, Portland, OR), by 1916; Herschel V. Jones (1861-1928, Minneapolis), 1916; his gift to MIA, 1916.
Catalogue Raisonne
K.92 iia/iii, L.96
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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