Washerwoman, Eragny (1887) by Camille Pissarro

Washerwoman, Eragny - Camille Pissarro - 1887

Artwork Information

TitleWasherwoman, Eragny
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Washerwoman, Eragny

The artwork entitled “Washerwoman, Eragny” was created by the renowned artist Camille Pissarro in the year 1887. This piece is categorized within the genre painting tradition and is a quintessential example of the Impressionist art movement. The original piece resides within a private collection, indicating that it is under individual ownership and not on public display.

In the artwork, the scene is set outdoors, under what appears to be the soft, diffused light typical of Impressionist paintings. We see a woman engaged in the domestic task of laundry, bending over a wooden washtub that rests on a stand, her hands busy washing clothes. She is dressed in attire suggestive of the period, with a long skirt and an apron, her stance indicative of effort and concentration. A deep red shawl or cloth is draped around her waist, providing a vibrant contrast to the softer hues surrounding her.

A child stands to the left of the woman, observing the activity or possibly awaiting instruction or attention. The child is rendered with minimal detail, emphasizing the innocence and simplicity often associated with youth. The artist has captured both figures within a lush environment, where the grass and foliage are represented with quick, dappled brushstrokes that give an impression of the movement and richness of the natural setting.

Around them, the environment is painted with a harmonious blend of greens, yellows, and earth tones, punctuated by the shadow cast by the woman and the washtub. To the right, a brick structure implies the proximity of a home or farm building, anchoring the scene within a specific, though not entirely disclosed, location. The painting exudes the sense of everyday life and work, characteristics of genre painting, and the distinctive touch of Impressionist technique, with its emphasis on the effects of light and color rather than precise detail.

Overall, Pissarro’s work captures a moment in time with sensitivity and an eye for the play of light on surfaces, making “Washerwoman, Eragny” a valuable example of his oeuvre and the Impressionist movement at large.

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