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It is believed that the model for the film "Laundress" Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec met on one of the streets of Paris. The young artist often preferred models from among dancers and girls of easy virtue. But this case was special. The red-haired mademoiselle turned out to be extremely modest and pleasant in communication. According to art critics, Toulouse-Lautrec posed by Susanne Valadon - the daughter of a simple Parisian washerwoman. Occupational injury forced her circus actress career to be abandoned.
The author was not concerned at all with the physiological characteristics of the female body, but with the transfer of the psychological state of a person. On the canvas, the viewer sees the profile of a young woman. Under loose clothing, convenient for heavy physical labor, a slender back and hips are guessed. The laundresses had a minute to stretch their backs and look out the window. Or maybe she was attracted by shouts from the street. Brown and gray tones predominate on the canvas, symbolizing the difficult life and the painful atmosphere of everyday life. Attractive bright red hair is lit and as if hinting at the cheerful disposition of their owner.
The author touches on the deep social problems of society in the French capital, and throughout Europe. Is it possible to meet a noble lady on a narrow cobblestone street? Unlikely. Ordinary and untapped potential leave their mark even on young Parisians.
They say that the artist’s father didn’t like the painting “Laundress”. He considered it primitive, but immediately noted the ability of Henry to transmit the mental state of the heroes. Subsequently, this canvas of Toulouse-Lautrec became one of the most expensive among his works.
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