Fellah Women Drawing Water

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.


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.

Jean-Léon Gérôme

French, 1824–1904

Fellah Women Drawing Water

c. 1873–75

Oil on canvas

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)

Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1942