The sitters are the artist's wife and his eldest daughter, Elise, born in 1878. Only the barest indication of a setting is given, such as the chairs and vase of flowers. This work is painted in the artist's characteristic style, with the figures emerging out of a shadowy atmosphere. Although the painting is a family portrait, the subject of winding wool may also symbolise the ties between a mother and daughter.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN