The Laundryman Calling at the Brothal (1894) by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

The Laundryman Calling at the Brothal - Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec - 1894

Artwork Information

TitleThe Laundryman Calling at the Brothal
ArtistHenri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Dimensions57.8 x 46.2 cm
Art MovementPost-Impressionism
Current LocationMusee Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi, France

About The Laundryman Calling at the Brothal

The artwork titled “The Laundryman Calling at the Brothal” is a creation of the celebrated artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec from the year 1894. It is an oil painting on cardboard, considered a genre painting within the Post-Impressionism movement. The artwork measures 57.8 x 46.2 cm and is housed at the Musee Toulouse-Lautrec in Albi, France.

The artwork conveys a scene set in an urban environment, characteristic of Toulouse-Lautrec’s interest in the Parisian nightlife and its inhabitants. It depicts a laundryman, identifiable by his attire and the bundle he carries, engaging with a woman who is presumably a resident or worker at the brothel. The woman’s posture, with her head turned away and occupied with something in her hands, suggests a casual or dismissive attitude towards the laundryman. Her expression is not clearly visible, but her stance and interaction imply a narrative that tells of the everyday occurrences and characters in the demi-monde of Paris during that period.

Toulouse-Lautrec’s technique involves bold outlines and a rich application of colors, with a palette that seems muted yet expressive, capturing the nuances of the setting and the figures within it. The background is rendered with less detail, allowing viewers to focus on the exchange between the characters, a typical approach of the genre painting that seeks to highlight social and cultural aspects of a particular time and place. The intimacy of the scene and the expressive quality of the figures bear witness to the artist’s ability to portray the reality of his contemporaries with both empathy and unvarnished truthfulness.

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