Woman Hanging up the Washing (1887) by Camille Pissarro

Woman Hanging up the Washing - Camille Pissarro - 1887

Artwork Information

TitleWoman Hanging up the Washing
ArtistCamille Pissarro
Dimensions32.5 x 41 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMusée d'Orsay, Paris, France

About Woman Hanging up the Washing

The artwork “Woman Hanging up the Washing” is a captivating oil on canvas painted by Camille Pissarro in 1887. This piece, measuring 32.5 by 41 centimeters, encompasses the ethos of Impressionism, a movement known for its vivid depiction of light and color, as well as for capturing everyday life. The work falls under the genre painting category, providing a snapshot of common activities and daily routines. Currently, it is part of the collection at the Musée d’Orsay, located in Paris, France.

In the artwork, one observes a scene imbued with the simplicity and tranquility of daily existence. It captures a woman engaged in the act of hanging up freshly washed laundry. She is depicted in profile, as she reaches upward to secure a piece of white fabric. The technique used suggests a warm, sunlit environment, with dappled light filtering through foliage to paint a pattern across the ground and the figures within the scene. In the background, the muted colors and loose brushwork typical of Impressionist work suggest the presence of domestic buildings amidst the verdure of plants and trees. At the woman’s feet, a child sits on the ground, a quiet observer to this ordinary yet intimate moment. The presence of the wheelchair hints at a narrative or perhaps serves as a reminder of the multi-layered lives beyond this singular moment depicted.

Pissarro’s use of soft, broken brushstrokes and the interplay of light and shadow create a sense of movement and life within this tranquil domestic scene. The clothing of the figures and their placement within the composition evoke a sense of harmony with their surroundings, reflecting the artist’s skill in portraying the rhythms of rural life. This work stands as a testament to Pissarro’s commitment to representing the beauty and dignity found in the quotidian experiences of ordinary people.

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