Penelope, A Doorway, Chelsea

Theodore Roussel (1847-1926), Penelope, A Doorway, Chelsea; etching, 1888-89, signed and inscribed “imp” in pencil in the tab [also signed in the plate upper left]. Reference: Hausberg 23, only state, from the edition of about 30. In very good condition, trimmed by the artist on the platemark all around except for the tab. Printed in black ink on cream laid paper, 4 1/4 x 2 11/16 inches. Plate later cancelled.

A fine impression with a light veil of plate tone.

The title refers to Ulysses’ wife Penelope, who passed the time weaving while waiting for her husband to return.

The composition is remindful of the many Whistler compositions in which figures are placed in doorways, alleyways, or otherwise framed; Roussel was of course a Whistler accolyte, and arguably his most talented follower; he met Whistler at about the time he created this etching.