Jul 27, 2005

The Laundress: La Blanchisseuse de la place Dauphine

The Laundress: La Blanchisseuse de la place Dauphine


James McNeill Whistler

(American, 1834–1903)


Thomas Robert Way

(British, 1861–1913)

Transfer lithograph

Support: Japanese paper

Image: 23 x 15.7 cm (9 1/16 x 6 3/16 in.); Sheet: 27.5 x 20.1 cm (10 13/16 x 7 15/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph King 1924.17

Catalogue raisonné: Way 58; AIC 93


This print is one of several in which James McNeill Whistler depicted a laundry shop on Paris’s historic place Dauphine, near Notre Dame cathedral. As an American expatriate, Whistler was fascinated by the city’s storefronts and recorded them often. Here, he presents a scene that captivated many urban dwellers at the time: laundresses are seen through a doorway, their sleeves pushed up for work. The subject reflects a practice that Edgar Degas himself favored and which had become recognizable in his work, described by an early biographer as “strolling in the shadow of Paris’s streets, stop[ping] . . . before the boutiques of laundresses populating his neighborhood.”

See also
PR - Lithograph
Type of artwork: 

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