A Woman Ironing (The Laundress)
BONVIN, François (1817 - 1887)
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 33.0 x 21.0 cm
Acquired: 1912; Purchase; Pyke Thompson funds
Accession Number: NMW A 2426
At the time of their marriage in 1837, Bonvin's wife Elisabeth recorded her profession as that of a laundress. This oil sketch probably depicts her working to earn additional income after Bonvin has resigned from the Prefecture de Police in 1850 and was struggling to pursue his artistic career. After Elisabeth's death in 1859, the artist never again depicted this particular theme, which was taken up by Edgar Degas with considerable success during the 1870s and 1880s.