Picture of the month: refreshing drink, but also comforting

Degas Les Repasseuses.jpg

WOMEN IRONING (REPASSEUSES)

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

ca. 1884-1886

Musée d'Orsay, Paris

'Degas often made portraits of his family and friends but he was also an attentive observer of the working world in millinery workshops or laundries. Only Daumier before him had taken an interest in washerwoman, who became one of Degas's favourite subjects between 1869 and 1895. At first he painted single figures seen against the light, picked out sharply against the white linen. Then, about 1884-1886, he dwelled more heavily on the subject, this time depicting two women in a laundry... The choice of this subject echoes the naturalist and social concerns of some of the artist's contemporaries, in literature as well as in painting. Zola's novel L'Assommoir published in 1877 describes Gervaise's laundry and gives a bald description of the miserable lot of the poor in Paris. Depicted hard at work, weary to the bone, the two women in Degas's painting illustrate a lucid view...' (Source: Musée d'Orsay)

PREVIOUS PICTURES OF THE MONTH

UNTITLED (BACCHUS)
Cy Twombly, 2008 - Tate Modern, London
THE CHEAT WITH THE ACE OF DIAMONDS
Georges de La Tour, 1635
DIANA AND CENTAURE
Clock, automate, and drinking game, 1602/06
THE DRUNKARDS or THE FEAST OF BACCHUS (LOS BORRACHOS) Velázquez, 1628/29
MEAL DURING THE HUNT
François Boucher, 1730s
IN A PRIVATE DINING ROOM or AT THE RAT MORT (EN CABINET PARTICULIER) Toulouse-Lautrec, 1899
RED VINEYARDS AT ARLES, MONTMAJOUR
Van Gogh, 1888
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