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)|
|Acquisition||Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1942|
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.