In a Laundry (c.1884) by Edgar Degas

In a Laundry - Edgar Degas - c.1884

Artwork Information

TitleIn a Laundry
ArtistEdgar Degas
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationKelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, UK

About In a Laundry

The artwork titled “In a Laundry” is a pastel creation dated circa 1884 by the renowned artist Edgar Degas. It belongs to the Impressionism movement and is categorized as a genre painting. Currently, this piece is housed at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, UK.

“In a Laundry” captures a moment in the daily life of a woman engaged in the laborious task of doing laundry. The composition is heady with the warmth of Impressionist technique, characterized by Degas’s deft use of color and light. The central figure is depicted bending forward, her arm raised as if to inspect a garment or express a gesture of exhaustion. Her vibrant yellow bodice stands out against the cooler hues of the background, suggesting the palpable heat of the surrounding environment. Sheets and fabrics hang above, contributing to the sense of a cramped, busy space, their pale colors and forms rendering a slightly blurred effect, reminiscent of the movement’s style.

The artwork conveys a sense of movement and spontaneity, hallmarks of the Impressionist approach, while also highlighting the toilsome reality of work done by women during that period, an often-overlooked aspect of everyday life in 19th-century art. Degas’s use of pastel allows for soft edges and a textured surface, imbuing the scene with intensity and a tangible atmosphere.

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