'The Laundress' by Alexandre Houzé (circa 1890s)
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'The Laundress', oil on board, by Alexandre Houzé (circa 1890s). Laundry work has traditionally been highly gendered, with the responsibility in most cultures falling to women known as laundresses or washerwomen. This is a sensitive depiction of a sturdy woman toiling with the laundry using a scrub brush next to a river - the old fashioned way. Hard, thankless work fell upon these women who used agitation to remove the dirt. This meant rubbing, twisting and slapping the clothing against flat rocks. Clearly the artist has much sympathy for the work of this woman and has sensitively conveyed the dignity in her toil while, at the same time, revealing the laundress' complete exhaustion. In original characterful frame with its nicks, scratches and blemishes. Given its age, the painting is in fair vintage condition. There is some minor cracking and blemishing which do not affect the overall impression of the artwork. Signed: 'Houzé' in lower left hand corner. Please view all of the accompanying photos for details of the work and its condition. Upon request a video of the piece may be provided.
About the Artist: Alexandre Houzé, born in 1837 in Tournai, Belgium and died in 1908 in Paris, France. An accomplished student at the Lille School of Fine Arts, he studied under well known artists / professors. At the Paris Salon of 1879, he exhibited his well known, 'Ferme à Herlen', a view of the village of Wissant. In the 1880s, he joined fellow artists Adrien Demont and Virginie Demont-Breton, who in 1890 led the School of Wissant. Houzé produced seascapes and landscapes primarily from this region during that period. As a founding member of the Société des Artistes in Lille, France, in 1890, along with Pharaon de Winter he exhibited his paintings yearly as part of that group. This collective of artists dedicated a retrospective to Houzé in 1909 and now his works appear in important museums around the world such as the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille and are particularly prominent in the Museum of Fine Arts in Tournai, Belgium, his home town.
Dimensions with frame:
H 53 cm / 20.9"
W 60 cm / 23.6"
Dimensions without frame:
H 32 cm / 12.6"
W 40 cm / 15.7"