This painting is one of several paintings finished by Caillebotte that falls in the genre of landscape painting. The artist uses soft and diffuse brushstrokes to paint the sky, but uses bold, strokes for each piece of laundry. Short strokes and thick layers provide contrast and depth to great effect. This style of brushwork also brings vibrancy to the painting. In the detail of the laundry, the viewer can see the raised edges of the paint as if Caillebotte had applied paint straight from the tube. This technique gives the impression the laundry is fluttering in the wind. The painting was done en plein air (in the outdoors) and captures the play of light than defined boundaries and intricate brushwork.
Gustave Caillebotte depicted everyday life, including family and domestic, in many of his paintings. These themes were shared by many of his fellow Impressionist painters. Other paintings similar to Laundry Drying, Petit Gennevilliers include Villas à Trouville (1884) and La Plaine de Gennevilliers (1888). Caillebotte was a patron and leading member of the Impressionist movement, though many of peers and critics would not consider him chiefly as an impressionist artist. Caillebotte was an Impressionist who belonged to School of Realism and favoured painting with more realism than his impressionist peers. He did not follow one style of painting, and sometimes his paintings resembled the works of Degas, while other times that of Courbet.
The Salon was the leading forum for painters and artist to display their works, but they had traditional, conservative ideas about art. Caillebotte began displaying his works at Impressionist exhibitions after his controversial masterpiece, Les raboteurs de parquet (1875), was rejected by the Salon. The painting depicted labourers refurbishing a wooden floor and was viewed by the Salon as being unrefined. Caillebotte was a contemporary of Edgar Degas and Giuseppe de Nittis and was influenced by their painting styles. Gustave Caillebotte died in 1894, at age 45, while working in his garden at Petit-Gennevilliers. He was wealthy and did not sell many of his paintings and instead became a patron of artists. Caillebotte purchased the works of Monet, Renoir and other painters. Another artist of note is Edgar Degas whose paintings and pastels included Ballet Rehearsal, Ballet Class and Absinthe.