Apr 3, 2006

Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower: From Bas-Meudon, Old Wash Boat

Thirty-Six Views of the Eiffel Tower: From Bas-Meudon, Old Wash Boat


Henri Rivière

(French, 1864–1951)

published by

Printed by Verneau

Color lithograph

Support: Beige(1) wove

Sheet: 22.3 x 26 cm (8 3/4 x 10 1/4 in.); Image: 17 x 21.2 cm (6 11/16 x 8 3/8 in.)

Gift of John Bonebrake 2003.394

Catalogue raisonné: Fields p. 78, plate 29

Edition: 500 plus 50 deluxe



Wash boats had plied the Seine’s waters for centuries. Equipped with seats and scrubbing boards, the boats were originally created for poor Parisians to use in a time when running water was unavailable to them. Few remained by the end of the 19th century, however, a casualty of the increasing accessibility of running water and the rise of industrial machinery and inland laundries. Rivière juxtaposed the wash boat, steeped in Parisian tradition, with the new and modern Eiffel Tower, symbolically opposing past and present. While the decaying wash boat seems ephemeral, so did the Eiffel Tower, which was originally granted a 20-year life span and was scheduled for destruction in 1909.

See also
PR - Lithograph
Type of artwork: 

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