The Maidservant (1875) by Camille Pissarro

The Maidservant - Camille Pissarro - 1875

Artwork Information

TitleThe Maidservant
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationChrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, US

About The Maidservant

“The Maidservant,” created by Camille Pissarro in 1875, embodies the Realism art movement through its truthful representation of an everyday scene. This oil on canvas portrait is part of the collection at the Chrysler Museum of Art located in Norfolk, VA, United States. The artwork portrays a woman, seemingly in domestic service, focused on her task.

In the artwork, the maidservant is depicted in profile, set against a lush background that suggests a garden setting. She is dressed in traditional attire of her station: a white apron over a rust-colored dress, with a white cap adorning her head. The warm hues of her dress contrast with the cooler, shadowed greens of the foliage behind her. She is intently carrying a tray, upon which rests a single glass, indicating the simplicity and perhaps the monotony of her daily routine. The brushwork is concise yet expressively captures the texture of her clothing and the dappled light that filters through the leaves, emphasizing Pissarro’s skill in rendering the subtleties of light and shadow. The maidservant’s downcast gaze and the absence of any idyllic embellishments underscore the Realist commitment to the unembellished depiction of ordinary life.

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