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 Anonymous - Sedan chair
François Boucher - The little dog’s dance
Jean-Baptiste Greuze - Young Shepherd Holding a Flower
Hubert Robert - The Laundry
 Jean Moisy (clockmaker) and Jean-Claude Chambellan known as Duplessis (goldsmith) - Organ pipe clock with a monkey orchestra
Hubert Robert - Washerwomen in a garden
 Adrien Delorme and Pierre Roussel - Chest of drawers
Giambattista  Tiepolo - Alexander and Bucephalus
Nicolas Sageot - « Mazarin » table desk
Claude Joseph Vernet - The Tivoli Cascades
Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Jérôme de La Lande
 Manufacture de Beauvais - Tapestry : Psyche Led by the West Wind into the Palace of Love and Psyche Showing Her Wealth to Her Sisters
Roger Van der Cruse known as La Croix or RVLC (Attributed to) - Combination furniture : commode with doors, secretaire in drawer, wardrobe
Jacques Louis David - The death of Seneca
Giovanni Antonio (dit Gianantonio) Pellegrini - Esquisse pour le plafond de la Banque Royale : Le Déchargement en bord de Seine de marchandises en provenance de la Louisiane

The Laundry

1733, Paris – 1808, Paris
Circa 1758-1759
Oil on canvas
58,5 x 63,5 cm

This painting dates from Hubert Robert’s youth when he was living and working in Rome.

The ordinary people of Rome have settled unselfconsciously in the ruins, which are being used for mundane purposes. These unexpected scenes, which he chanced upon during a walk in the Eternal City, struck the painter’s imagination and became a permanent part of his thematic repertoire.

His contemporaries would later interpret them as an illustration of the ravages wrought by time which inexorably destroys the signs of the grandeur of past civilisations. But at the time of their creation, the young artist was simply enjoying himself and taking pleasure in painting.

We see an ancient monument transformed into a laundry where linens are bleached. The strong contrast between shade and light, the large draperies and the vertical lines of the openwork fences punctuate the composition. The steam from the fire which make the air quiver provides the material for a dazzling piece of painting.

M. A. P.

Inventory number: 
Inventory number : PDUT01898
Acquisition details : Purchased using interest from the Dutuit bequest, 1975
Room 12
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