The Blouse Factory

Charles Ginner (1878 - 1952)

Oil on canvas

1917

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  • About the work
    Location
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Downing Street
    Focused on their sewing machines, the line of women working in a factory in Charles Ginner’s 1917 painting The Blouse Factory is an image of industry and determination. Emphasising the rhythm of the women’s work, Ginner creates a vivid sense of repetition by creating a receding line of figures, mirrored overhead by the serried rows of lamps. 

    Ginner probably painted this work in Leeds while staying with Frank Rutter, the Director of Leeds City Art Gallery. Other studies of a textile factory by the artist, such as Machine Room (in the Cloth Workers’ Company Collection) and The Power Loom are believed to depict industrial sites in Leeds. In 1918 Ginner produced a larger-scaled oil painting, The Shell Filling Factory (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa) depicting women working in a Midlands factory.
     
    Produced while working as an Official War Artist during the First World War, The Blouse Factory is one of several works in which Ginner represented the vital role that women played in British industry, taking over jobs previously dominated by men. Subjects drawn from everyday life, urban and domestic, greatly appealed to the Fitzroy Street and Camden Town Groups, artistic circles both of which Ginner had joined in 1911 and 1914. Finding inspiration in everyday scenes, artists including Walter Sickert, Harold Gilman and Ginner took their cue from late French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. 
  • About the artist
    Charles Ginner was born in Cannes, France, to Anglo-Scottish parents. He worked in an architect's office in Paris from 1899 to 1904 before studying painting at various institutions until 1908. In 1909 he visited Buenos Aires and held his first exhibition there, and late in that year he settled permanently in London. Ginner was a key member of the Camden Town Group founded by Walter Sickert and painted urban scenes of modern life in the metropolis. Ginner also worked as an Official War Artist during the Second World War.
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  • Details
    Title
    The Blouse Factory
    Date
    1917
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 61.00 cm, width: 74.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Mayor Gallery, January 1965
    Inscription
    br: C. GINNER
    Provenance
    T W Spurr; purchased from Mayor Gallery, January 1965
    GAC number
    6838