This painting, done in thick brushstrokes, shows a group of women gathered on the grass in a wooded area. There are six figures, four seated and two standing, and they fill the foreground of the composition. They are grouped in a semi-circle, however, there is no communication or eye contact between the figures. The women are wearing traditional Breton costumes with brightly colored aprons, caps and sashes. They have bright white collars and caps with purple, burgundy and green ribbons.
Charles Cottet was known for painting scenes representing life in the Brittany area of France. This painting shows a group of women, dressed in traditional Breton costume, who are to participate in a "pardon", an annual religious procession. The Brittany pardon was a popular subject matter for artists during the last half of the nineteenth century because it allowed a portrayal of the folklore and customs of that region of France, an area of interest for Realist and Symbolist painters. Here, Cottel does not show the procession itself, but a small group of women gathered in a lush green field. They wear the traditional costumes of the town of Plougastel with purple and burgundy skirts, green blouses and multi-colored aprons. The women have bright white collars and caps with purple, burgundy and green ribbons. The two girls wear colorful caps over their unbound hair and have decorated vests.
In pencil, lower right: Ant. Salamanca 1510-1542 In pencil, far lower right: W Inscribed at lower right: Ant. Sal. exc. Inscribed on frieze above portico of building at left: SVNTVS SENSVM NON SVPERET Inscribed over door within portico of building at left: ISABELLA
On the plate, right center: Butterfly monogram Signed, in pencil, on tab, l.l.: Butterfly monogram and imp. Watermark: (small) Notation on back, in pencil, not by Whistler: K.362 only state/The Grande [sic] Place, Brussels (see catalogue card).
A large building with an open square before it dominates the composition. The building has elaborate architectural elements and is clearly a public or official place and has an arched pediment, finials, pilasters, and extensive glazing. In the square before the building are groupings of figures.
Although Whistler never provided a direct depiction of the principal public space in Venice, St. Mark's Square, this etching does show the main square in Brussels, the Grand Place, as well as the Maison des Ducs de Brabant that dominates the square.
Below title is notation: St Gregorio is a suppressed Monastery facing Grand Canal and has a very pretty court Facade brick, once stuccoed. Entrance Marble. Noted: red marble ; white marble Above doorway is notation: there is a panel, a sort of pediment with figure of S. Gregorio above center of Doorway. Lower R corner of drawing: SKETCHED APRIL 3. 91