Skip to Main Content


(French, 1849–1918)
(French, b. 1857)
Image: 38 x 21.5 cm (14 15/16 x 8 7/16 in.); Plate: 39.3 x 22.7 cm (15 1/2 x 8 15/16 in.); Sheet: 45.9 x 25.5 cm (18 1/16 x 10 1/16 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Lotz-Brissonneau 91
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.
Location: not on view

Download, Print and Share


Here, Auguste Lepère presented a pair of laundresses ascending steps from a wash boat on the Seine River, where they could pay to clean the loads they had collected. A receptacle for various types of waste, the river was a source of public concern for the unsanitary environment in which laundry was done. Lepère evoked these difficult working conditions by juxtaposing a youthful laundress with one who has spent time in the industry. The figures’ mirrored poses and their contrasting bold and muted tones suggest the passage of time as they carry out their work—a message emphasized by the artist’s caption at upper left: “Youth passes quickly. Virtue!”



Auguste Louis Lepère, Andre Marty

(French, 1849–1918), (French, b. 1857)
France, 19th century

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.