Washing on the Ice forms part of a series of twelve paintings that were made for the Finnish Pavilion at the Paris World Fair in 1900. The purpose of the series was to show how Finns made a living and what Finnish environments looked like. The winter light in this painting almost lacks any shadow. A woman, dressed in grey, has brought her washing onto the ice, and farmhouses can be seen nestling among the trees in the background. Halonen's artistic goals were closely related to those of Puvis de Chavannes, who emphasised peace, simplicity and large surfaces. Halonen has also managed to achieve a congruent, airy and soft mood in his treatment of the snow and light. At the Paris Pavilion, this painting proved an interesting contrast to the theme of the washer woman by the Seine, popular with French Impressionists.