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Whether painting in oils or watercolors, Bonvin frequently presented intimate views of solitary figures set against a neutral, interior background. An elderly peasant woman is represented seated on ladderback armchair that is turned at a slight angle. In her lap, she holds a copper warming pot upon which she rests her gnarled hands. The artist has employed his customary muted palette, limited to browns, grays, reds, and blacks with small areas of yellow and white. In this instance, the subject's intensely white headdress and her colorful shawl sharply contrast with her otherwise somber attire. The same model posed for Bonvin's drawing "Femme à la lampe" (1864), in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. The gleaming copper pot also occurred in an oil painting, "Le banc des pauvres" (1864), now in the Musée de Montpellier, and in two drawings of the same year.
(Released under the GNU Free Documentation License)
Inscription: [Signed and dated] Lower left, in brown ink: F. Bonvin, 1862; [Number] Verso in graphite: 12
Medium: transparent and opaque watercolor with graphite underdrawing, pen and iron gall ink, heightened with gum varnish on blue-gray, moderately thick, moderately textured, laid cartridge-style paper.
Credit line: Acquired by William T. Walters.
For full details please visit the collection website.