Nov 15, 2011

The Laundress

The Laundress


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

(French, 1864–1901)

Black and gray wash with white paint, scratched away in places, on gray cardboard prepared with white ground

Support: Gray cardboard prepared with a white ground

Sheet: 75.9 x 63.1 cm (29 7/8 x 24 13/16 in.)

Gift of the Hanna Fund 1952.113

Catalogue raisonné: Dortu D3.029

Did you know?

To create this drawing, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec painted a board white and then both scraped the material away in areas and drew with black ink to create a variety of tones throughout the image.


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec produced this drawing to illustrate an article about Parisian summers. It presents the type of poorly paid worker who remained in the city while others traveled to escape the urban heat. Because the image was to be reproduced in black and white, Toulouse-Lautrec thinned and brushed ink, scraping into it to expose fine white highlights. Like several artworks in Cleveland’s collection, the drawing was formerly owned by Roger Marx, a French collector, curator, and art critic who built perhaps the most substantial holdings of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work around the turn of the century.

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