The Laundresses

(French, 1834–1917)
Support: Beige wove paper
Image: 11.6 x 15.7 cm (4 9/16 x 6 3/16 in.); Sheet: 21 x 23.8 cm (8 1/4 x 9 3/8 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Delteil 37; Reed and Shapiro 48
State: IV/IV
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

In addition to the needle traditionally used in etching, Edgar Degas employed unorthodox tools including a wire brush and a double-pointed steel accountant’s pen to make marks on the plate used for this print.


The Impressionist artist Edgar Degas explored etching briefly, from about 1875 through 1880. Created during this period, The Laundresses depicts several young women working at a Parisian laundry shop, hanging washed clothing and ironing. It is Degas’s only intaglio print that focused on laundresses, a popular subject in contemporary novels. Through the women’s hunched postures and the scale of the laundry pile at lower right, the artist emphasized the difficulty of such work.
The Laundresses

The Laundresses


Edgar Degas

(French, 1834–1917)
France, 19th century

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