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Hard work, taking away the strength and health of young women, was described by Honore Daumier in his works. Living on the island, he constantly had to observe this daily female work.
Hard going through the hardships of the poor people, Daumier could not be an indifferent, outside viewer, however, there was nothing to help here. These experiences resulted in a series of paintings, where heroines with dignity and nobility carry their heavy cross.
The Laundress was written in 1861, and the painter managed to convey the female image so vividly and monumentally that society compared this picture with the sculptures of Michelangelo.
In the picture, a young, not yet old woman climbs a high staircase with her young son. A bale with wet linen rolls lower from gravity, large, strong hands turn red from cold water, however, now this is not the woman's concern. It can be seen that the boy is struggling up the stairs, and his mother supports him with his word.
Patience, calmness and care - this is the whole image of a woman. No exhausting work, no poverty and wild fatigue drown out these maternal qualities in a real woman. It seems that the most unbearable conditions fade into the background, the main life value is this baby, his little joys or sorrows. But the kid himself, it’s evident that he was tired.
The maternal theme always worried the artist, He was perplexed by the strength of the feelings of poor women - to exhaustion, working in difficult conditions, women were able to remain gentle, quivering and affectionate mothers, retaining such qualities as dignity, nobility, real beauty.
The background of the picture is highlighted in light tones, which is why the figure of the woman - the laundress - looks even more powerful, strong, majestic. It was the grandeur of a simple woman that Daumier wanted to emphasize, and he succeeded.
Perov Vasily Grigorievich Pictures