Ironers - Degas. 76x81
Edgar Degas knew how to surprise his viewer, knew how to make him empathize with the image on the canvas, in a plot that no one could have foreseen in advance. Not an exception, and his “Ironmaker” - the figure of a worker yawning from her boring, monotonous work with a bottle of wine in her hand became almost a symbol of a woman working woman of the early twentieth century.
The work was done on a rough canvas, sometimes not even painted over, which was a unique case for the master, he achieved such an effect of the oil technique that it becomes like a pastel technique. But still, in this creation of the artist, the main thing is not technical skill. The gesture of the ironing woman’s hand, her head thrown back, yawn, reliance on a bottle of wine - everything is chained to her and does not let go, you literally feel her back ache and her legs “buzzing”.
The fatigue of the second woman makes her put pressure on the iron with her hands and her whole body. She strokes without raising her head from work. Tomorrow is the same hopelessness, hard work and piles of linen. Degas doesn’t even amaze this canvas, he doesn’t even teach us, but he makes us see another Paris, everyday, gray, Paris of workshops and laundries, kitchens and small shops, Paris, invisible behind tinsel of rich streets and squares.
Degas in his Laundresses is no longer a “salon” artist and not a sophisticated esthete, he can also be a stern realist, addressed to ordinary people. The man of labor appears many times in the work of the great master, but always with a sense of deep humanism and love for people.