The Laundry Edouard Manet Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Edouard Manet's impressionist technique is evidently showcased within his painting, The Laundry.

The artists had successfully implanted his style within the piece, while illuminating a story for the viewers. Manet is deemed as the father of impressionism, setting the foundation of a style in art changing the century. The oil on canvas painting was created in 1875 in Paris, France. Manet was one of the first painter’s to paint the life style of the 19th century, and held a prominent role in progressing the style of art from realism to impressionism.

The painting, The Laundry, seems to be set in the rural provinces of France and illustrates the relationship between a mother and child. As the title of the painting suggests, the piece evidently showcases the mother and child completing laundry while set outside. The woman is clothed in a blue classic dress, with a white component underneath. She wears a classic French hat during the era to cover her face from the sun. The woman is accompanied by her child, who does not seem to be contributing to the activity. The child seems to be a little girl, and is clothed in a white cotton dress paired with blue detailing across the shoulders. The child wears a small straw hat on top, with vibrant red detailing. It is evident that through the emotion on the child, she seems to be distracted by something within the distance.

The setting of the painting is an essential component to the piece, as it illuminates the lush environment the woman and daughter are placed in. In the background, two lines of string are hanged to dry the wet fabrics being washed. The setting seems to be within the garden of the woman’s house, as wide flowers surround the laundry areas. The red flowers accentuate the setting of the painting, enhancing a positive feel to the piece and adding colour. The background is covered in vegetation, painted with an array of greens and a few glimpse of turquoise to add depth. Throughout the history of Manet’s work, the story behind The Laundry remains unknown. Critics have argues that it seems as if that the woman and child within the piece were not models, and instead the painting was inspired by Manet’s memories. The painting is a critical piece that illuminates the transition from realism to impressionism, while showcasing aspects of both. The Laundry displays the time period of the 19th century, as Manet offered a glimpse into the everyday life of the French.