Abram Efimovich Arkhipov (1862-1930) was a Russian realist painter who often depicted the harshness of Russian life for women.
In The Washer Women he depicted the harsh reality for peasant women who often worked together to clean the village’s laundry. Arkhipov painted two different versions of this painting; this is the second version. When the first was almost complete, he noticed an old woman sitting hunched over and defeated much like the women on the left of this painting which led him to painting a second version of one of his most famous paintings. He visited numerous washhouses looking for the perfect model and redesigned the entire painting after he found her.
The Famous Artists also has a post with the original version – The Washer Women, version 1.
To learn more about this artists and see more of his famous paintings, please visit our Abram E. Arkhipov biography.