A woman draped in diaphanous drapery sits on a couch facing the viewer. The arm of the couch is visible at the left of the image and the woman glances down towards her knees. To the right is a flower-like form that is the artist's "butterfly" signature.
Draped figures were important to Whistler's work, reflecting his interest in Asian drapery as well as Greek 'tanagra' terracotta figurines that had become popular in Victorian England.
Whistler was asked by André Marty to submit a lithograph to Marty's publication, "L'Estampe Oiginale"; this image was the one that Whistler selected to be included in that French publication. As Whistler wrote to his printer Thomas Way, "The little sitting figure in drapery I am immensely pleased with...The work is beginning to have the mystery in execution of a painting."
A female figure, dressed in diaphanous green drapery with a purple and green cap over her curly blond hair, holds a fan as she reclines on a cloth-covered couch. Her left leg is up on the couch while her right leg and arm drape over the front of the couch; a patterned pillow seen near her left leg mirrors the colors on the fan. The wall behind them also appears to be draped with fabric. On the wall to the right is a flower-like symbol that is the artist's "butterfly" signature
The female figure, both draped and nude, was a subject matter that occupied Whistler beginning the 1860s. This was drawn in his studio in Paris and was printed (as with Yellow House, Lannion) by Henri Belfond. This rare and exquisite print shows how skillfully Whistler matched his image to the paper employed: the diaphanous drapery of the reclining figure is superbly evoked through the translucent quality of the Japan tissue.
This etching consists of an abstracted composition executed in loose lines with a more figural representation of a figure with its arms raised on the left accompanied by a more abstracted form in the center of the composition. The etching is printed on a heavily embossed surface made up of raised circular lines. There are passages of hand coloring on the figure on the left whose torso is colored in yellow and blue. Other small circles are colored in red on the form to the figure’s right.
Abstracted composition with a figure in outline on the left and other forms.