Tricoteuse – William Bougereau (1879)
‘Tricoteuse’ is the French word for someone, especially a woman, who knits. Someone such as the old women who famously sat and knitted while above them Madame Guillotine carried out her daily shaving of heads – a ceremony called by some enthusiasts “the red mass.”
So is this just a young girl knitting? Or, since nothing in art is unintentional, is something more intended? What clues are there in the painting?