Jean-Simeon Chardin


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Author: Jean-Simeon Chardin
Genre Painting, Painting, Oil on canvas, 37.5x42.7 cm
Origin: France, 1730s

Painted in the 1730s, The Laundress is a masterpiece by Jean-Simeon Chardin, who took much pleasure in depicting scenes from the life of the ordinary people who inhabited the poor craftsmen's areas of Paris. In the room where a young woman works hard scrubbing clothes in the tub, everything seems to be suffused with a sense of quiet and calm, an impression created thanks to the combination of many elements in the painting: the simple, strict composition, the symmetrically arranged objects, the alternation of areas of light and colour. One of the most marvellous things in the painting is the female figure seen through the door, the space around her filled with steam. Although we cannot identify the source of the light, we can guess from which direction it falls. The painting has a very restrained colour scheme, the artist selecting each colour very deliberately and using it with great care to give a fuller sense of each object's reality and solidity.

Source of entry: Collection of baron L.A. Crozat de Tierra, Paris, 1772

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