Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mary Cassatt Gallery

La Toilette
c. 1891
Oil on canvas
39 1/2 x 26 in.
The Art Institute of Chicago

Young Mother
Oil on canvas
92.4 x 73.7 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

Young Woman Trying on a Dress
Drypoint and aquatint on cream laid paper
37.7 x 25.6 cm
The Art Institute of Chicago 

Lady at the Tea Table
Oil on canvas
73.4 x 61 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 

c. 1894
Oil on canvas
100.7 x 81.3 cm
Terra Foundation for the Arts

Young Women Picking Fruit
Oil on canvas
132 x 91.5 cm
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh 

Mother and Child
c. 1900
Pastel on tan wove paper
71 x 58.5 cm
The Art Institute of Chicago 

Mother and Child
Oil on canvas
90 x 64.5 cm
Wichita Art Museum, Kansas

Portrait of a Little Girl
Oil on canvas
89.5 x 129.8 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The Letter
Drypoint and aquatint on cream laid paper
34.5 x 21.1 cm
The Art Institute of Chicago

Le the (Five O'Clock Tea) 
Oil on canvas 
25 1/2 x 36 1/2 in (64.7 x 92.7 cm) 
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Lydia Seated at an Embroidery Frame
Oil on canvas
65.5 x 92 cm
Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan 

Oil on canvas
89.3 x 130.8 cm
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Lydia Crocheting in the Garden at Marly 
Oil on canvas 
26 x 37 in (66 x 94 cm)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Children on the Beach 
Oil on canvas 
38 1/2 x 29 1/4 in (97.6 x 74.2 cm) 
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Child Picking a Fruit
Oil on canvas
100 x 65 cm
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond 

The Bath
Drypoint and aquatint on cream laid paper
36.8 x 26.3 cm
The Art Institute of Chicago

The Banjo Lesson
Pastel over oiled pastel on tan wove paper
72.2 x 58.6 cm
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond 

Oil on canvas
93 x 65 cm
Musee du Petit Palais, Paris 

Young Girl at a Window
c. 1883
Oil on canvas
100.3 x 64.7 cm
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington 

The Boating Party
Oil on canvas
90.2 x 117.5 cm (35 1/2 x 46 1/4 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Girl Arranging Her Hair
Oil on canvas
29 5/8 x 24 5/8 in. (75.1 x 62.5 cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC


Mary Cassatt. Reproduced by permission of Archive Photos, Inc.
Mary Cassatt.
Reproduced by permission of 
Archive Photos, Inc.
remains known as the painter and poet of the nursery.
Born: May 23, 1845
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died: June 14, 1926
Mesnil-Beaufresne, France
American painter and artist

American painter Mary Cassatt is considered a member of the French impressionists, a nineteenth-century style that emphasized impressions of scenes or objects. Best known for her series of paintings of a mother and child, she also portrayed fashionable society.

Early life and career

Mary Stevenson Cassatt was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 23, 1845, the second of Robert and Katherine Johnson Cassatt's four children. As a child she lived for a time in France. The family then moved to Germany so that one son could pursue his studies in engineering, while another son could gain special medical attention. Upon returning to the United States in 1855, Mary studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1866, against her father's wishes, she began her travels in Italy, Spain, and Holland. She finally settled in Paris, France, where she shocked her parents by revealing her intentions to pursue a career as a painter.

In 1866 Cassatt began her studies in France, where she came to know other famed French painters, such as Charles Chaplin and Thomas Couture (1815–1879). After a pair of rejections, she exhibited at the Salon (French art galleries) and met the famed painter Edgar Degas (1834–1917), who later became her mentor (advisor).

Soaring career

Despite Cassatt's success at the Salon, her heart lay with the impressionists, and in 1877, at Degas's suggestion, she joined the group and exhibited with them in 1879. Her work sold well, particularly in Philadelphia, and she in turn bought paintings by the French impressionists. She also helped American friends, such as the Havemeyers, form their collections of impressionist paintings. Cassatt remained strongly American, as do many expatriates (those living abroad). She wrote the American painter J. Alden Weir (1852–1919) that "at some future time I shall see New York the artists' ground."

Cassatt's brother, Alexander, brought his family to Paris in 1880, the first of many trips. Although she never married, she was enchanted by her nieces and nephews and excelled in painting children, who dominate her subject matter. Although her early works were done in an impressionist style, she

Painting style

Cassatt stopped being an impressionist painter midway through her career. Her early works portray the delicacy, the effects, the play of light and shadow of the style, but she never seemed to use broken colors and her use of complementary colors was slight. Paintings like La Lo have impressionistic qualities and have the instant effect of being caught out of the corner of the eye. Her paintings of mothers and children, however, are figurative and three-dimensional. The drawing is classical and complete, and the color, far from being light and separated into its component parts, is flat and sometimes rather sharp, much like the Japanese prints that influenced her so much. These careful figure studies, completely finished, seem to exist entirely in the atmosphere of the nursery, with no sound except the little cries.

The paintings of Mary Cassatt, filled with light and joy, give a false impression of this strong-minded and somewhat difficult woman. She was at her best in her relations with other artists, for only in this environment did she consider herself among her intellectual equals. In later life she suffered from ill health and failing eyesight and was totally blind at her death. She died in her home at Mesnil-Beaufresne, France, on June 14, 1926.


melanie b said...

Hi Suzie - just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy the music you put up on your blog. I've actually downloaded from iTunes some that I have heard. Thanks for sharing your musical taste. :)

Shannon Marie said...

Hi Suzie. I lost my whole blog list yesterday when trying to change my template..darn it. Has that ever happened to you? I added you back and another gal following me. I left the template the same anyway so I am not sure why I lost it.
email me off blog if you want
Shannon aka Margarita Stewart

kate said...

Hey Suzie
i didnt know that you also love Mary C. my oldest daughter graduated from the art institute in chicago, i used to buy art books there, i have two of her's also have a great DVD from HBO, about Marys life in france with Degas, great film you could rent on netflix. Just another thing we have in common.
best to you

Suzie said...

Hi, Kate!!
Yes, I love Mary Cassatt very much!
Oh! i would love to watch Mary's film. I will rent it this week!!!
Thank you, Kate!!


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