The Sleeping Rag Vendor by Donald Shaw MacLaughlan

The Sleeping Rag Vendor by Donald Shaw MacLaughlan

The Sleeping Rag Vendor

Donald Shaw MacLaughlan

Title

The Sleeping Rag Vendor

 
Artist
Year
1902  
Technique
etching 
Image Size
7 3/4 x 9 5/16" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
not stated, this is the first state 
Annotations
titled in pencil along lower sheet edge; dedicated "To Mr. & Mrs. J. W. Simpson with compliments-"; and "1st state" 
Reference
Bruette 38; LOC255, illustrated on page 283 in American Prints in the Library of Congress 
Paper
fine, ivory laid 
State
i/ii 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
22059 
Price
$300.00 
Description

D.S. MacLaughlan did this etching in 1902, while living in Europe. It depicts a Rag Vendor with a cat on her lap, napping in a room filled with bags of rags. Rags hang from the rafters as 2 mice romp on the floor, near the cat's bowl. Rag gatherers were a major source for paper makers for centuries but, in the late 19th century paper began to be made from wood fibers as press technology made printing cheaper and more productive and people became more literate. The rag gathering profession became obsolete.

Like many American artists of the time MacLaughlan traveled to Europe to study in Paris, enrolling in the Ecole des Beaux Arts and studied further with Jean Leon Gerome and Jean Paul Laurens. In 1899 he began producing etchings, which became his major interest until his death in 1938. He became acquainted with James NcNeill Whistler (1834-1903) and other artists who created etchings and spent time studying the etchings of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) and other old masters in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale. Both Rembrandt and Whistler became major influences on his printmaking.

In 1900 MacLaughlan created a set of 25 etched views of Paris and in 1901 exhibited two etchings in the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. He returned to the U.S. in 1903, then went back to Paris the following year.

MacLaughlan traveled extensively in Europe, visiting England, Switzerland, Italy and Spain as well as various locales in France. His etched views of Venice were well-known. MacLaughlan exhibited views of Paris, Rouen, Normandy and Italy in 1906 in a solo show at the American Art Association Galleries in Paris.

He also displayed his work in the 1906 exhibitions of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Société des Peintres-Graveurs Français. MacLaughlan even instructed other expatriate Canadian artists then living in Paris, most notably Clarence Gagnon and Frank and Caroline Armington. From 1905 to 1914, he lived and worked at Asolo near Venice, Italy.