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About the work

curationist logoCurationist Object Description
Certain types of labor, especially domestic labor, have been labeled as feminine work in many cultural contexts. At the same time that society sees it as the “natural” role of women, it is also seen as less valuable than work assigned to men. Women’s work is often appreciated and paid less than the work of their male peers. This print by French artist Alexandre Lunois shows the strenuous nature of this work as washerwomen carry heavy bundles of laundry up and down a stone quai staircase in France.

Cleveland Museum of Art Object Description

Alexandre Lunois worked extensively in lithography, a relatively recent invention during his time that was rarely used by artists, making both reproductive and original works. This print reinterprets Honoré Daumier’s Washerwomen of the Quai d’Anjou, an 1850 canvas depicting laundresses carrying heavy bundles on a staircase adjacent to Paris’s Seine River. Although Lunois worked closely from Daumier’s painting, he reinterpreted some details, such as the shadows on the woman’s face, emphasizing the strenuousness of her labor.

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