An old woman sits in a doorway absorbed in sorting rags.
Although the rag picker is shown as poor and frail, her focus and disengagement from the viewer creates a calm and contemplative image. The framing device of the doorway ensures a sense of separation and self-containment. This was one of a group of twelve works that Whistler published as Twelve Etchings after Nature. The images reflected the contemporary trend in French art to focus on ordinary people.