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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.

August 2004