Chiaroscuro, A Profile, the Golden Scarf

THEODORE ROUSSEL (1847-1926) Biography

Chiaroscuro, A Profile, the Golden Scarf (England, c.1900)

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Oil on canvas
inscribed on a label on the frame


62.00cm high
46.00cm wide
(24.41 inches high)
(18.11 inches wide)
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Description / Expertise

Hetty Pettigrew (1867-1953) is the model. She was Roussel's favourite sitter, studio assistant and lover. Their daughter, Iris, was born about 1900. Theodore Roussel was an important printmaker and many of his images, now in public collections, are dedicated to her. Hetty sat for Roussel's best-known work, The Reading Girl, 1887 (Tate Gallery). Frederick Wedmore described the painting as 'a high masterpiece... austere in its performance, restful in its effect.'

Harriet Selina Pettigrew was one of twelve children, the eldest of three girls who became artist's models. She and her sisters, Lillian and Rose, sat for the traditionalists, such as J. W. Godward and the avant-garde including Whistler and Wilson Steer. Hetty was the subject of at least one oil by Whistler and several of the artist's pastels. Both Whistler and Roussel painted her reclining on a sofa in the early 1890s, most probably working side by side.