Born into a family of artists, Weir studied painting at the National Academy of Design in New York and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris before establishing himself as a successful landscape painter. In the 1880s, he began working in watercolor during summers at his farm in Branchville, Connecticut, where this domestic interior, depicting his wife and her mother, was probably made. While sharing a similar subject—women sewing—with the earlier drawing by Farrer, Weir was less interested in the specifics of the setting or the sitters than in the impressionistic light effects and the tranquil mood created.
John Wilmerding et al., American Art in the Princeton University Art Museum: volume 1: drawings and watercolors,(Princeton: Princeton University Art Museum; New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2004).
Picturing gentility: portraits of women in American art, (Glens Falls, NY: Hyde Collection, 2000).
Christine Bartolo, The ten: works on paper: catalogue and exhibition, (Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1980).
Barbara T. Ross, American drawings in the Art Museum. Princeton University: 130 selected examples, (Princeton, NJ: Art Museum, Princeton University, 1976).
Painting on Paper: American Watercolors at Princeton Saturday, June 27, 2015 - Sunday, August 30, 2015