James McNeill Whistler - The Little Rose of Lyme Regis 1895

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The Little Rose of Lyme Regis 1895

The Little Rose of Lyme Regis 1895
78x129cm oil/canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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From Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:
Whistler created this beautiful image, one of a series of tonal portraits challenging the sentimentality of Victorian portrayals of children, near the end of his career. Painted on a visit to the British coastal resort town of Lyme Regis in 1895, the portrait of eight-year-old Rosie Randall, daughter of the town’s mayor, was not a commission but one of a small group of studies Whistler undertook as a tribute to the children he called “the little Lyme Regis maidens.”[1]Whistler portrays Rosie gazing directly at the viewer, nervously clasping her hands. She wears a red pinafore over a black dress and emerges from a dark background. The artist applied thin layers of paint to create this soft, diffuse likeness, which eloquently captures the innocence and vulnerability of childhood. He designed a wide, simple frame to emphasize the delicacy of the image.