The Works of Mary Cassatt
About Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 22, 1844. Mary went to a Fine Arts school but was frustrated by the resentment she faced because was one of the few girls at her school. Mary decided to move to Europe to study the Old Masters herself. Her family objected, but Mary moved to Paris in 1866 and began studying at the Louvre. Mary's paintings were obscure until 1868 when one of her works was selected for the prestigious annual Paris Salon exhibition. However, she didn't submit it under her name because of her family's objections. When a war broke out in France, Mary moved back to Philadelphia, where she could barely afford supplies, and her family didn't support her. She tried to sell her paintings but had no luck until the Archbishop of Pittsburg asked her to commission a copy of a piece of art in Italy. Mary traveled to Italy, and the money she earned from the commission allowed her to study art around Europe (eventually settling in Paris), and make more paintings, which got in the Paris Salon several times. Later, Mary began to feel restricted by having to paint whatever art was trendy and started painting with more pastels like her friend Degas. She earned criticism , but she became part of the Impressionists and painted portraits in the Impressionist style. Eventually, her art evolved from the Impressionist style and she experimented with many different styles. She became an activist, trying to help young artists get on their feet. Mary's last years might have been her hardest. She suffered from diabetes and slowly went blind, so she couldn't make art, something she loved to do. She died on June 14, 1926.
A picture of Mary Cassatt.
A self portrait of Mary Cassatt.
Mary is probably closest to the Impressionist Movement. She also was influenced by Japanese print making. She was a painter, so she used paint and brushes. Mary was influenced by the other French Impressionists, particularly her friend, Degas. One thing that sets Mary apart from the other Impressionists is that she mainly painted domestic or feminine scenes.
"Sara Holding A Cat"
"Sara Holding A Cat" was painted in 1908. It is 16 1/4 inches by 13 inches, and it is an oil painting. Currently, it is in a private collection. It is valued at over 2 million dollars! The subject is a young girl, presumably named Sara. It exhibits some of the recurring themes in Mary Cassatt's work: women/girls, and private, home life. Many of her fellow Impressionists painted public scenes like streets and parks, but Mary mostly painted scenes of people in their private homes .
"Children Playing on theBeach"
Children Playing on the Beach is one of Mary Casset's oil on canvas paintings. It was made in 1884. The painting is 38 3/8 by 29 3/16 inches. Again, we don't know who the children in the painting actually are, but the subject is the two toddlers playing at the beach. Currently, this piece is in the Aisla Mellon Bruce Collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, but it is not on display.
"The Loge" is an oil painting of some women at the theater. Mary Cassatt enjoyed going to see shows and operas quite a lot, so this scene makes sense. It is 31 7/16 by 25 1/8 inches. It was made circa 1878-1880, according to the National Gallery of Art. Currently, it is on display in the Chester Dale Collection at the National Gallery of Art. The subject is the two ladies at the theater. A loge is a private box in a theater.