Model Seated

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 104
Date: 1871/1873
Medium: drypoint
Size: 205 x 142 mm
Signed: butterfly at left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 4
Catalogues: K.118; M.117; W.103
Impressions taken from this plate  (4)


cancelled plate, interior, model, portrait, woman seated.


Minor variations in title are seen in the following examples:

Possibly 'Draped figure sitting' (1877, Charles Augustus Howell (1840?-1890)). 2
'Seated Girl' (1881, Union League Club). 3
'Seated Girl' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 4
'Seated Girl' (1890/1892, Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896)). 5
'Seated Girl' (1909, Howard Mansfield (1849-1938)). 6
'Seated Model' (2010, Whistler Etching Project).

The trouble with the generally accepted title is that the subject is a woman, not a girl. She is a model dressed in draperies, rather than contemporary dress. Accordingly, ' Model Seated', is the preferred title.

2: C. A. Howell to Whistler, [6-15 November 1877], GUW #02178.

3: New York 1881 (cat. no. 130).

4: Wedmore 1886 A (cat. no. 103).

5: List, [1890/1892], GUW #12715.

6: Mansfield 1909 (cat. no. 117).


A woman is sitting on a low chair, facing to the left and leaning forward. She is wearing a thin loose robe, gathered at the neck, with short sleeves. Her right hand rests upon her left knee, which is crossed over the right, and her left hand rests upon the frame of the chair. There is shading, possibly indicating a curtain, in the background.


This may show Matilda Gilchrist (b. 1828 or 1829), who posed for Tillie: A Model [113], but it is not certain.


There are similarities in the use of line between this drypoint and several earlier chalk life-studies of draped women by Whistler, in particular Draped figure seated, holding a fan [m0327], which is reproduced below.
Comparative image
Draped figure seated, holding a fan, crayon, 1865/1870,
The Hunterian, University of Glasgow (46014).