A Woman Cleaning, Plate 5 from Five Feminine Occupations

Geertruydt Roghman (Dutch, Amsterdam 1625–1651/57 Amsterdam (?))
ca. 1648–50
Plate: 8 7/16 × 6 11/16 in. (21.5 × 17 cm)
Sheet: 11 7/16 × 8 5/16 in. (29.1 × 21.1 cm)
Credit Line:
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1956
Accession Number:
Not on view
Roghman, from an Amsterdam family of artists, is known for some reproductive prints and her original suite of five engravings, "Household Tasks": sewing, spinning, reading (?), cooking, and cleaning cookware (see 56.500.2–.6). The two subjects set in kitchens are unusual in that the solitary maids are seen from behind. Each print presents a sober view of domestic work, but the kitchen scenes are remarkable for the figures' complete lack of individuality, to say nothing of appeal. In comparing Roghman's images of household servants with those of Dou and Vermeer, it is tempting to distinguish male and female points of view (as some critics have rather emphatically). Whatever the interpretation, it is important to bear in mind that Roghman's prints were intended for a broad art market, whereas Dou's famously expensive paintings (as opposed to the later prints after them) and The Milkmaid by Vermeer were made with individual collectors in mind.
Inscription: Lettered in plate lower left: Geertruyt Rogman invenit.
Numbered in plate lower right: 5
Vendor: C. G. Boerner
Hollstein XX.55.6(5)
F. W. H. Hollstein Dutch and Flemish Etchings, Engravings and Woodcuts. vols. 1-64, Amsterdam, 1954–2010, cat. no. XX.55.6(5), p. 55.