Curator‘s Comments

This was one of the last drypoints Whistler made before temporarily abandoning intaglio printmaking for a period of seven years. One reason Whistler decided to stop etching was his increasing jealousy over the success of his brother-in-law, Francis Seymour Haden, a physician and amateur etcher whose work began to garner praise during the early 1860s.

This work also falls in a crucial time in Whistler’s development as an artist, when he discarded his earlier style of realism and began to focus on the principles of aestheticism. During this period, Whistler increasingly experimented with color in his paintings. Weary, a portrait of the artist’s mistress, Jo, was partially inspired by the drawings and writings of Whistler’s new cohort, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the poet, painter, and member of the avant-garde circle, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.


James Abbott McNeill Whistler. American, 1834–1903

Weary, 1863

Drypoint on lightweight Asian paper


ID Number: SC 1969:4