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Fellah Women Drawing Water

Jean-Léon Gérôme

French, 1824–1904

Fellah Women Drawing Water

c. 1873–75

Gérôme traveled widely in the Near East and may have actually witnessed fellah, or peasant, women washing laundry or carrying water from a river. He painted this image, however, in his Paris studio, using a photograph taken in Egypt by a travel companion. Embellishing the original setting, the artist added the minaret of a mosque on the right and transformed leafy trees into palms to accentuate the impression of dry, hazy heat.

Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 26 1/2 x 39 7/16 in. (67.3 x 100.2 cm) Frame: 36 1/4 x 49 1/8 x 2 5/8 in. (92.1 x 124.8 x 6.7 cm)
Object Number 1955.52
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1942
Status On View

Image Caption

Jean-Léon Gérôme, Fellah Women Drawing Water, c. 1873–75, Oil on canvas. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.52.


Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.


The artist, possibly sold to Goupil; [Goupil, Paris]; [John Levy Galleries, New York, sold to Clark, 29 January 1942, as View of Medinet el Fayoum, Upper Egypt]; Robert Sterling Clark (1942-55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.