French Set ("Douze eau-fortes d'apres Nature" 1858)
Signed and inscribed in the plate
Note: After visiting Cologne during a summer–fall tour in 1858, Whistler created this image of an elderly mustard vendor who arranges jars within a dim interior, as a young assistant leans against the door jamb. He here establishes a formula to which he would often return—using an open entrance to frame a receding interior containing figures and objects that refer to a particular activity and locale. One of the most complex prints in Douze eaux-fortes d’après nature (Twelve Etchings from Nature), Whistler based the composition on drawings and sent it to the Paris Salon of 1859.