||Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Marie
||There is a precedent for this painting in Degas’ Two Laundress of 1884. Degas’ interest was mainly in composing an exquisite arrangement of pleasing colour notes and ballet-like movements. His realism is relatively mild when set against this stark handling. Lautrec’s laundress also bears a striking resemblance to a profiled Renoir figure in The Bathers of about 1887. What a difference between the sweatshop pallor here and the healthy flush of Renoir’s young animal! This laundress is as degraded by work as figures in later cabaret scenes are brutalised by dissipation.