Artists like Edouard Vuillard hoped these images would convey the meditative mood of their figures to the viewer.
It shows a woman, backlit and viewed from behind, bent over her work.
The pieces of fabric in the foreground and the ornaments in the interior are part of a decorative interplay with the patterns on her dress. The sparing use of colour causes her to merge entirely with her surroundings.
Her world is shown in only a fragmentary way, leaving much to be inferred and creating a devotional mood.
Husbands and wives often lived quite separate lives in the nineteenth century.
The man pursued an active life in the outside world, while the woman was bound to the home, waiting passively for him to return.
However, the hectic character of modern life meant that late 19th-century men were increasingly drawn to the peace and privacy of their comfortable apartment.
George L. Mauner, The Nabis: Their History and Their Art 1888-1896, New York 1978
Ursula Perucchi-Petri, Intime Welten: Das Interieur bei den Nabis. Bonnard, Vuillard, Vallotton, Bern 1999
Susan Hollis Clayson, ‘Looking within the Cell of Privacy’, in Peter Parshall et al., The Darker Side of Light: Arts of Privacy, 1850-1900, London 2009