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Binding the Hair

Impression: Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
Number: 334
Date: 1887
Medium: etching and drypoint
Size: 133 x 95 mm
Signed: butterfly at lower left
Inscribed: no
Set/Publication: no
No. of States: 3
Known impressions: 4
Catalogues: K.344; M.342
Impressions taken from this plate  (4)


hair, nude, toilet, woman standing.


Only one title is known, as in these examples:

'Binding the hair' (1880s, Whistler). 1
'Binding the Hair' (1889, Whistler). 2
'Binding the Hair' (1902, Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932)). 3

1: Written on .

2: Whistler, list, 18 July 1889, #13235.

3: Kennedy 1902[more] (cat. no. 305).


A nude woman stands facing toward the right, her hands upraised, arranging her hair. The light is from front right, and her shadow falls back and to left. There is some shading in the background.


The model has not been identified.


This is one of several studies of nudes in the studio, such as Resting by the Stove 372 and 'Venus' (Nettie Pettigrew) 363. A comparable pose is seen in drawings by Whistler such as r.: A nude pulling a black robe over her head; v.: Cockerel m1382 and r.: A nude model adjusting her hair; v.: A woman in a toga m1383, and by Beatrice Whistler (1857-1896), including A nude adjusting her hair and A partially draped nude adjusting her hair. 4

4: Hunterian Art Gallery 46188, 46540, 46541; see