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Fumette's Bent Head

Impression: Freer Gallery of Art
Freer Gallery of Art
Number: 58
Date: 1859
Medium: drypoint
Size: 229 x 154 mm
Signed: 'Whistler.' at lower left (2)
Inscribed: '1859.' at lower left (2)
Set/Publication: 'Cancelled Plates', 1879
No. of States: 2
Known impressions: 20
Catalogues: K.57; M.57; T.70; W.51
Impressions taken from this plate  (20)


hair, head, model, portrait, woman.


Three different titles have been recorded, as follows:

'Fumette' (1870s, Whistler). 1
'Fumette (a head)' (1881, Union League Club). 2
'Fumette's Bent Head' (1886, Frederick Wedmore (1844-1921)). 3

Wedmore's title 'Fumette's Bent Head' has been generally accepted by later cataloguers, as distinguishing this portrait from the earlier portrait published under a similar title, Fumette 012.

1: Written on .

2: New York 1881 (cat. no. 72).

3: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 51).


On the upper part of the plate appear the head and shoulders of a young woman with long flowing hair, bending forward and facing nearly front, her right hand raised toward her face. In the lower part of the plate, at the right, are traces of a portrait of Whistler wearing a broad-brimmed hat. In the upper left corner are traces of other earlier work. There are horizontal lines in the background at the right.


Etching: K0560202
Eloise ('Fumette') (fl. 1840-1858). She also posed for Fumette 012, Fumette standing 059 (reproduced above) and Venus 060. Wedmore described this head-and-shoulders portrait as showing 'a good humoured young woman'. 4

4: Wedmore 1886 A[more] (cat. no. 51).


A vigorous and direct portrait, this is comparable to the later portrait of Joanna Hiffernan (b. ca 1843), who succeeded Fumette as Whistler's mistress and model, Jo 087.