The work has been authenticated by Alicia Seade-Delboy; catalogued as D, no. 31 by Lucia Fournie, the artist's widow.
Felipe Seade is the preeminent Social Realist from Uruguay. He mostly sought to represent the characters of Uruguayan life - not from a romantic perspective, which he despised, but with militant passion. One of his more recurrent themes was the life of washerwomen. To him they were the symbol of struggling, strong mothers; the people itself. He began painting washerwomen in the 30's as a young artist in the city of Colonia where he could see them walking at sunrise to the Uruguay river loaded with bundles of clothes on their heads; and his very last painting, on December 1968, was a small washerwoman in ocher tones.
By the mid-40's the washerwomen became iconic in Uruguayan painting. Seade drew and painted them in mural sketches, frescoes and oils. Four Washerwomen with Bundles is one of two large-scale works he painted on the subject.
Shortly after Seade's death, and during the Uruguayan "dirty war" of the 70's, this painting was kept under the custody of the Blanes Museum in Montevideo, and returned later to the Seade family.
During his lifetime, Seade never held an exhibition, although he lived an intense public life as a professor and artist. After his death, Four Washerwomen with Bundles was shown in 1986 at the Homage-Exhibit organized jointly by the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, the Universidad de la República and the Intendencia Municipal de Montevideo.