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Théodule Ribot

The Morning Wash (The Children's Home)


Théodule Ribot
Saint-Nicolas-d'Attez, France, 1823 – Colombes, France, 1891


The Morning Wash (The Children's Home)


About 1863


Oil on canvas


73.2 x 61 cm


Gift of Lord Strathcona and family, inv. 1927.381


Western Art

Théodule Ribot incorporated stylistic elements from seventeenth-century Spanish painting and Rembrandt, and worked directly on the canvas without preliminary studies or oil sketches. This painting, executed in subtle tones of grey and black, is highlighted by a burnished copper pan. The sorry little group, dressed in drab uniforms and supervised by the daunting schoolmarm looming in her dark doorway, is sufficiently gloomy to have suggested the title under which the painting was known in Montreal: The Children’s Home. The painting represents an asile, or state-run school for children from poor families.

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