According to the poet and writer Joachim Gasquet, the sitter in this painting was a former nun who had escaped from a convent and had wandered aimlessly until the painter took her on as a servant. Gasquet found this painting in 1896 at Cézanne's family house near Aix-en-Provence, lying on the floor of the artist's studio with a pipe dripping on it. The lower left hand corner is marked by splashed water or steam.
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