Frank Huddlestone Potter

Girl Resting at a Piano

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 514 x 714 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1932
Reference
N04617

Display caption

The girl is the artist's fiancée Ellen Whelan. The setting of a parlour with one or two people playing at the piano was a popular subject for Victorian artists (see The Awakening Conscience displayed nearby). Here, however, Potter shows the girl slumped in her chair looking absentmindedly into the room. The dimness of the interior is accentuated by light reflecting off the brass straps on the piano and the white cuff of her costume. Although the idle mood recalls the work of Whistler, unlike the languid posture of The Little White Girl displayed nearby, this sitter simply looks bored.

Gallery label, August 2004