“Washerwomen on the Banks of the Durance,” painted in 1866, shows a group of local washerwomen, wrapped against the heat of the sun, at work on the riverbank. In this austere composition, we see a broad sweep of the Durance as it rounds a bend. A brilliant blue sky dominates the scene, with the edge of the Lubéron mountain range at left. But the true subjects in Paul Guigou’s work are the harsh southern light and the French landscape. Where does the light lead your eye?
Paul Guigou, “Washerwomen on the Banks of the Durance,” 1866, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Chester Dale Fund