Monday, August 10, 2015

A Breton Laundress (1865)

Jules Breton: A Breton Laundress

This work is one of a series of paintings Breton completed during his first summer visit to Douarnenez, Brittany in 1865.  The identity of the model remains unknown but she does appear drawn in a similar pose in the artist's sketch book (now held in the Breton Archives).  Unlike Breton's sunfilled compositions of laundresses on the Brittany seashore, the present work is set behind the beach in the dark woods.  Here the artist captures how the forest's filtered light highlights the laundress' white bonnet, tanned face, and strong hands in contrast with the darker tones of her blue apron, red linens, and the green and gray landscape. [Sotheby’s]

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