Mary Cassatt Galleries
Within months of her return to Europe in the autumn of 1871, Cassatt??s prospects had brightened. Her painting Two Women Throwing Flowers During Carnival was well received in the Salon of 1872, and was purchased. She attracted much favorable notice in Parma and was supported and encouraged by the art community there: ??All Parma is talking of Miss Cassatt and her picture, and everyone is anxious to know her??.
After completing her commission for the archbishop, Cassatt traveled to Madrid and Seville, where she painted a group of paintings of Spanish subjects, including Spanish Dancer Wearing a Lace Mantilla (1873, in the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution). In 1874, she made the decision to take up residence in France. She was joined by her sister Lydia who shared an apartment with her. Cassatt continued to express criticism of the politics of the Salon and the conventional taste that prevailed there. She was blunt in her comments, as reported by Sartain, who wrote: ??she is entirely too slashing, snubs all modern art, disdains the Salon pictures of Cabanel, Bonnat, all the names we are used to revere??. Cassatt saw that works by female artists were often dismissed with contempt unless the artist had a friend or protector on the jury, and she would not flirt with jurors to curry favor. Her cynicism grew when one of the two pictures she submitted in 1875 was refused by the jury, only to be accepted the following year after she darkened the background. She had quarrels with Sartain, who thought Cassatt too outspoken and self-centered, and eventually they parted. Out of her distress and self-criticism, Cassatt decided that she needed to move away from genre paintings and onto more fashionable subjects, in order to attract portrait commissions from American socialites abroad, but that attempt bore little fruit at first.
In 1877, both her entries were rejected, and for the first time in seven years she had no works in the Salon. At this low point in her career she was invited by Edgar Degas to show her works with the Impressionists, a group that had begun their own series of independent exhibitions in 1874 with much attendant notoriety. The Impressionists (also known as the ??Independents?? or ??Intransigents??) had no formal manifesto and varied considerably in subject matter and technique. They tended to prefer open air painting and the application of vibrant color in separate strokes with little pre-mixing, which allows the eye to merge the results in an ??impressionistic?? manner. The Impressionists had been receiving the wrath of the critics for several years. Henry Bacon, a friend of the Cassatts, thought that the Impressionists were so radical that they were ??afflicted with some hitherto unknown disease of the eye??. They already had one female member, artist Berthe Morisot, who became Cassatt??s friend and colleague.
Degas, Portrait of Miss Cassatt, Seated, Holding Cards, c. 1876-1878, oil on canvasCassatt admired Degas, whose pastels had made a powerful impression on her when she encountered them in an art dealer's window in 1875. "I used to go and flatten my nose against that window and absorb all I could of his art," she later recalled. "It changed my life. I saw art then as I wanted to see it." She accepted Degas' invitation with enthusiasm, and began preparing paintings for the next Impressionist show, planned for 1878, which (after a postponement because of the World??s Fair) took place on April 10, 1879. She felt comfortable with the Impressionists and joined their cause enthusiastically, declaring: ??we are carrying on a despairing fight & need all our forces??. Unable to attend cafes with them without attracting unfavorable attention, she met with them privately and at exhibitions. She now hoped for commercial success selling paintings to the sophisticated Parisians who preferred the avant-garde. Her style had gained a new spontaneity during the intervening two years. Previously a studio-bound artist, she had adopted the practice of carrying a sketchbook with her while out-of-doors or at the theater, and recording the scenes she saw.
Summertime, c. 1894, oil on canvasIn 1877, Cassatt was joined in Paris by her father and mother, who returned with her sister Lydia. Mary valued their companionship, as neither she nor Lydia had married. Mary had decided early in life that marriage would be incompatible with her career. Lydia, who was frequently painted by her sister, suffered from recurrent bouts of illness, and her death in 1882 left Cassatt temporarily unable to work.
Cassatt??s father insisted that her studio and supplies be covered by her sales, which were still meager. Afraid of having to paint ??potboilers?? to make ends meet, Cassatt applied herself to produce some quality paintings for the next Impressionist exhibition. Three of her most accomplished works from 1878 were Portrait of the Artist (self-portrait), Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, and Reading Le Figaro (portrait of her mother).
Degas had considerable influence on Cassatt. She became extremely proficient in the use of pastels, eventually creating many of her most important works in this medium. Degas also introduced her to etching, of which he was a recognized master. The two worked side-by-side for awhile, and her draftsmanship gained considerable strength under his tutelage. He depicted her in a series of etchings recording their trips to the Louvre. She had strong feelings for him but learned not to expect too much from his fickle and temperamental nature. The sophisticated and well-dressed Degas, then forty-five, was a welcome dinner guest at the Cassatt residence.
The Impressionist exhibit of 1879 was the most successful to date, despite the absence of Renoir, Sisley, Manet and C??zanne, who were attempting once again to gain recognition at the Salon. Through the efforts of Gustave Caillebotte, who organized and underwrote the show, the group made a profit and sold many works, although the criticism continued as harsh as ever. The Revue des Deux Mondes wrote, ??M. Degas and Mlle. Cassatt are, nevertheless, the only artists who distinguish themselves??and who offer some attraction and some excuse in the pretentious show of window dressing and infantile daubing??.
Cassatt displayed eleven works, including La Loge. Although critics claimed that Cassatt??s colors were too bright and that her portraits were too accurate to be flattering to the subjects, her work was not savaged as was Monet's, whose circumstances were the most desperate of all the Impressionists at that time. She used her share of the profits to purchase a work by Degas and one by Monet. She exhibited in the Impressionist Exhibitions that followed in 1880 and 1881, and she remained an active member of the Impressionist circle until 1886. In 1886, Cassatt provided two paintings for the first Impressionist exhibition in the United States, organized by art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. Her friend Louisine Elder married Harry Havemeyer in 1883, and with Cassatt as advisor, the couple began collecting the Impressionists on a grand scale. Much of their vast collection is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She also made several portraits of family members during that period, of which Portrait of Alexander Cassatt and His Son Robert Kelso (1885) is one of her best regarded. Cassatt??s style then evolved, and she moved away from Impressionism to a simpler, more straightforward approach. She began to exhibit her works in New York galleries as well. After 1886, Cassatt no longer identified herself with any art movement and experimented with a variety of techniques.
Related Paintings of Mary Cassatt :. | Mary is sewing in the garden | Lydia at the Tapestry Loom | The Boating Party | Woman and Child Driving | Mary readinf for her grandchildren |
Related Artists:BOSSE, Abraham
French Baroque Era Engraver, 1602-1676
Roughly 1600 etchings are attributed to him, with subjects including: daily life , religion, literature , history, fashion, technology, and science. Most of his output was illustrations for books, but many were also sold separately. His style grows from Dutch and Flemish art, but is given a strongly French flavour. Many of his images give fascinating and informative detail about middle and upper-class daily life in the period, although they must be treated with care as historical evidence. His combination of very carefully depicted grand interiors with relatively trivial domestic subjects was original and highly influential on French art, and also abroad ?? William Hogarth's engravings are, among other things, a parody of the style. Most of his images are perhaps best regarded as illustrations rather than art.
Watercolour of a ball by Abraham Bosse, a similar subject to many of his most famous etchingsHe was apprenticed in Paris about 1620 to the Antwerp-born engraver Melchior Tavernier (1564?C1641), who was also an important publisher. His first etchings date to 1622, and are influenced by Jacques Bellange. Following a meeting in Paris about 1630, he became a follower of Jacques Callot, whose technical innovations in etching he popularised in a famous and much translated Manual of Etching(1645), the first to be published. He took Callot's highly detailed small images to a larger size, and a wider range of subject matter.
Unlike Callot, his declared aim, in which he largely succeeded, was to make etchings look like engravings, to which end he sacrificed willingly the freedom of the etched line, whilst certainly exploiting to the full the speed of the technique. Like most etchers, he frequently used engraving on a plate in addition to etching, but produced no pure engravings.BROUWER, Adriaen
Flemish Baroque Era Painter, ca.1605-1638
Adriaen Brouwer (1605, Oudenaarde - January 1638, Antwerp) was a Flemish genre painter active in Flanders and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century.
At a young age Brouwer, probably born as Adriaen de Brauwer, moved perhaps via Antwerp to Haarlem, where he became a student of Frans Hals alongside Adriaen van Ostade. He also was active in stage acting and poetry. He stayed in Haarlem and Amsterdam until 1631, when he moved back to Antwerp in the Spanish Netherlands. There, he became a member of the Guild of St. Luke in 1631 ?C 1632, as well as the rhetoricians's chamber De Violieren.
Tradition has it that Brouwer himself spent much time in the alehouses of Flanders and Holland. His works are typically detailed and small, and often adopt themes of debauchery, drunkenness and foolishness in order to explore human emotions, expressions and responses to pain, fear and the senses. The Bitter Tonic (illustrated right) is an example of the type of work that depicts such responses, in this case the sense of taste. His work was well liked, to the point that forgeries were sold in his own time. Both Rubens and Rembrandt owned a number of his works. Nevertheless, Brouwer appeared in financial trouble throughout his life.
He died at the early age of 32 in Antwerp, where he was first buried in a common grave, but, upon instigation of the members of the guild, was reburied on Feb 1, 1638 in the church of the Carmelites.Gustave Brion
French painter and illustrator. His family settled in Strasbourg in 1831 and placed him in the studio of the portrait and history painter Gabriel-Christophe Gurin (1790-1846) in 1840. He then earned his living mainly by teaching drawing and copying paintings. In 1847 he successfully submitted his first work to the Salon: Farmhouse Interior at Dambach (untraced). In the summer of 1850 he moved to Paris, where he took a studio in a house shared by Realist artists. Brion exhibited regularly at the Salon: in 1852 The Towpath (untraced) was bought by the de Goncourt brothers; and in 1853 he showed the Potato Harvest during the Flooding of the Rhine in 1852 (Nantes, Mus. B.-A.), in which the influence of Gustave Courbet and Jean-Francois Millet (ii) can be seen in the Alsatian peasant figures.