The Laundress

By Jean-Baptiste Greuze

”[She]… is charming; but she’s a rascal I wouldn’t trust an inch.”

-Denis Diderot to The Laundress

            The Laundress is Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s picture of a rosy-cheeked girl laundering her linens. In 1761 in Paris, it was one of the fourteen works he successfully exhibited at the Salon. Characterized mainly by its small size, it ironically drew large attention from critics and spectators during the time because of the very vibrant colors and handling its artist used. Furthermore, the provocative attitude of the laundress with her flirtatious appearance and tousled look despite the innocence that is being tried to evoke also quite gave a stir to its critics. 

The Laundress, 1761

            Today, the original copy of The Laundress can be found in Getty Museum. Since its acquisition in 1983, it has been a part of Getty Museum Studies on Art series. Being part of the collection, an essay was written for The Laundress tackling about the role of maids and servants in the development of French genre painting. Moreover, an account regarding the profession of laundering in the eighteenth century Paris and its position and hierarchy of servants, was produced. It was indeed known to many that during those times, laundresses worked sideline in prostitution and procuring which can also be observed undeniably in the sexual overtones of Greuze’s painting.

The Laundress, 2012

            This is our version of The Laundress. Conducted in a small boarding house, most of the props and technical facilities were improvised to attain the same (almost) effect of the original painting. The lighting effects were made through a few flashlights situated in different parts of the room. Also, some of the props were taken in a different time and/or location as the scene in general because of some deficiencies since all of the members of the group reside in dormitories. Photoshop and other computer programs aided the organization of all the elements for the attainment of this final product. Although lacking in supplies, the team had a really memorable learning experience doing the project as each practiced resourcefulness, cooperation and creativity.


Agapito, Ann Nichole

Bacosa, Frances Anna

Gonzales, Reynalyn Joy

Manso, Kim Sarah

Nuque, Annazeth