Les Laveuses (The Laundresses)

Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903)

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Women washing laundry along the Aven River was a common sight in Pont-Aven. In Gauguin's motif, one woman stands in profile at left, while another, wearing a simple work coiffe, kneels at the washboard.

Gauguin bird's eye view looks down upon the eddies and waves of the rocky river. The curving lines and shapes form a decorative, nearly abstract pattern, and the absence of sky seems to flatten the space.

Instead of hand-coloring like Bernard, Gauguin relies upon the canary yellow paper and ink washes to realize his design.

Paul Sérusier [1863-1927], Paris and Châteauneuf du Faou; by inheritance to his widow, Marguerite Sérusier [1879-1950]; to her friend Paule Henriette Boutaric, Paris;{1} posthumous sale of Boutaric collection at (Ader Picard Tajan, Paris) in 1984;{2} Sam Josefowitz, Lausanne; given to Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1998.

{1}Paule Henriette Boutaric collaborated on the publication by Marcel Guicheteau, Paul Sérusier, Paris, 1976. "Collections H. Boutaric" appears in pencil on the verso.
{2}Ader Picard Tajan, Paris, "Tableaux Modernes, Dessins, Aquarelles, Sculptures, Estampes provenant de la succession P. Sérusier et de la succession de Mademoiselle Boutaric, 19-20 June 1984, lot. no. 478. A stamp from this sale appears on the verso.

Object Information

Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903)
creation date
8-1/2 x 10-3/8 in. (image)
13 x 18-5/8 in. (sheet)
mark descriptions
Signed in plate, lower right: P Gauguin
Stamp on verso: "ente des 19 et 20 juin 1984, Ader Picard-Tajan, (1) 261.80.07 Paris, Boutaric/Sérusier
Handwritten on verso in pencil: Collections H. Boutaric
Dessins Lithographiques
accession number
credit line
Gift of Samuel Josefowitz in tribute to Bret Waller and Ellen Lee
Public Domain
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
deaccessioned on
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