The woman swims the breaststroke, a stroke popular among swimmers who like to keep their head above water as much as possible.
People complain that they are drowning in laundry when facing a mountain of dirty clothes and bed linen. It’s a problem which has been around for many years. In the early 1900s the Art of the Laundry was taught at Columbia University in New York City, and there have been many helpful household manuals published on this troubling aspect of domestic life. Today, we can turn to the internet which offers an array of solutions from sorting strategies to re-wearing and enlisting help to keep on top of the laundry.
But, as an alternative to drowning, why not swim? The activities of swimming and laundry seem to be frequently combined: inspired by a cascade of images of people in swimsuits doing their washing in the river and a leisure centre with a swimming pool, spa, gym and a laundry, together with a news report of a laundry van comically rolling into a swimming pool at a holiday resort. So why not just swim away and leave the laundry behind you.
Blue Odalisque references Francois Boucher’s Brown Odalisque, 1745. Odalisques were associated with slaves and exotic harems and in Brown Odalisque a naked woman (allegedly Boucher’s wife) is lying seductively on a heap of linen. A shocking painting for its time, Boucher was accused of prostituting his own wife.