Rik Wouters
Mechelen 1882 - Amsterdam 1916
oil on canvas
108.5 x 124.8 x 2.2 cm
Inventory number 1932

Ironing is an iconic work by painter and sculptor Rik Wouters. It is an image of sunlight, warmth and brightness in the artist's home. With an intense sense of joie de vivre, Wouters succeeded here in enhancing the room around him. To him, daily life was always beautiful and pleasant. Nature was his principal source of inspiration. As an Impressionist, he considered our observation of nature to be a constant challenge. He painted, modelled and drew all aspects of life around him. The figure in the painting, Wouters' wife Nel, looks up from her ironing board unaffectedly. Beside her stands a basket with more clothes for ironing; behind her on the mantelpiece, a vase with flowers and a bell-jar, objects that capture and reflect the intense and shimmering light, with its subtle variations of soft yellow, pale pink and diluted green.

Baron donates Wouters

No museum has as extensive a collection of work by Rik Wouters as the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. It is comprised of no fewer than thirteen paintings, eight sculptures and thirty-six drawings and watercolours, as well as some curiosa. It was baron Ludo van Bogaert, a good friend of Nel's, who donated this particular painting to the museum. During the renovation of the KMSKA the 'Wouters'-collection will travel to the artist's hometown Mechelen. That way, the artworks will stay accessible to the public in the (temporary) Museum Rik Wouters that will open its doors in September 2011.

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