Toyohara Kunichika apprenticed with Kunisada and became best known for his actor and bijinga prints. He worked between the Edo and Meiji eras and contributed 10 prints to the 1867 Exposition Universelle in Paris. During the Meiji era, photography created stiff competition for printmakers, but Kunichika's expert use of color ensured his continued success.
A boy with long hair sits on a low ledge or rail, facing to the left but looking at the viewer. The figure is lit from the left and behind the figure to the right is deep shadow.
Whistler executed a number of drypoint portraits during the early and mid-1870s. Because of the amount of plate tone to the right of the image, it is likely that this impression was pulled after Whistler's return from Venice. The sitter is Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935), Whistler's illegitimate son with Louisa Fanny Hanson, believed to be a parlourmaid.
Very loosely drawn image of a man's head and shoulders, the rest of the body is left undescribed. The man has a moustache and curly dark hair, wth the exception of a white patch right at the hairline at his forehead.
As the title suggests, this self-portrait by Whistler is a quick sketch that emphasises the distinctive white lock at his forehead, emphasized in this impression by the rich drypoint lines that set off this notable marking. Whistler was quite vain about his "lock" and used to comb it up so that it would stand up and referred to it as “his oriflamme, his panache”.
The scene takes place in a dark interior room, seen from the street. the roough stone of the doorway frames a seated woman and a young boy standing nearby. In addition to light illuminating the interior from the street, there is a recessed window niche along the left wall of the room.
Whistler portrayed this interior located in the fifth arrondissement of Paris, which was an older poor region on the left bank that was home to many poor workers. Along with his other Parisian portraits and sketches done on his walking journey that were grouped into the "French Set", this work shows Whistler drawing picturesque places and depicting images of labor akin to those of Gustave Courbet.
A young child sits facing the viewer. He has shoulder length hair, a white colar and dark suit, the pants of which come to just below his knees. His feet are together and his hands rest in his lap beween his knees. The image is strongly lit from the left by an unseen light source.
Arthur Charles Haden (1852-1910) was the third of four children born to Whistler's half-sister Deborah and her husband Francis Seymiour Haden; he would have been about six years old when Whistler drew this plate.
A girl stands facing to the left, her face turned slightly towards the viewer. She is show standing in a dark dress with a high collar and long hair parted in the middle. Her dress comes to just below the knee and although she holds the hem of her skirt in her left hand, there is only slight indication of the girl's left leg. The result is a vignetted view; the artist's signature and the inscription bearing the information about the printer (Auguste Delatre) form the bottom of an implied oval frame.
Annie Harriet Haden (1848-1937) was the oldest of Seymour Haden's four children and was a frequent model for Whistler prior to his rupture with her father in 1867.
A seated female faces towards the viewer. She is leaning back in her chair, her chin resting on her left arm; she holds papers in her right hand that are in her lap.
When Whistler married Beatrice Godwin, née Philip, in 1888 he became part of a close family circle that included his wife (who called herself Beatrix), her sisters and her mother. In 1894 Beatrix was diagnosed with cancer; Whistler was devastated. Many of the lithographs he drew of her seem to belie the reality of the situation. "The Beautiful Lazy Lady" is not an image of indolence but of illness. Whistler's portraits of Beatrix are touching and intimate, although their titles may indicate that he had trouble facing the reality of the diagnosis.