Prints & Drawings - 1 of 9

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The Little Laundress by Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard
French, 1867-1947
The Little Laundress
Lithograph printed in deep red, orange yellow, bister, gray-black, and grayish beige on paper
28.9 x 19.6 cm
Acquired by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1962

As both a painter and an illustrator, Pierre Bonnard was fascinated by the scenes unfolding before him on his ritual morning walks through the streets of Paris's Montmartre district. The color lithograph The Little Laundress conveys what must have been a common sight, for it is estimated that at the end of the nineteenth century, over a quarter of the population of Paris was employed in the laundry business. Here a small girl, bent by the weight of the basket she carries, balances herself on the point of her umbrella as she delivers the day's wash.

The Clark has a collection of approximately four thousand prints and drawings spanning the history of the graphic arts from the fifteenth century through the beginning of the twentieth century. The collection includes significant concentrations of works by Albrecht Dürer, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, Charles Meryon, and Winslow Homer. The Clark's small but important group of pastels by Degas, Camille Pissarro, Mary Cassatt, and Jean-François Millet are also housed in the department. The collection of works on paper is currently unavailable to the public due to the Clark’s expansion. .

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