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 :. | Girl Sewing | Portrait of the lady | Sara Handing a Toy to the Baby | Little Girl in a Blue Armchair | Sewing Woman |
Related Artists:Jean-Baptiste Perronneau
(Paris, c. 1715 - Amsterdam, 19 November 1783) was a French painter who specialized in portraits executed in pastels.
Perronneau began his career as an engraver, apparently studying with Laurent Cars, whose portrait he drew, and working for the entrepreneurial printseller Gabriel Huquier, rue Saint-Jacques, Paris, making his first portraits in oils, and especially in pastels, in the 1740s. His career was much in the shadow of the master of the French pastel portrait, Maurice Quentin de La Tour. In the Salon of 1750, Perronneau exhibited his pastel portrait of Maurice-Quentin de la Tour, but found to his dismay that La Tour was exhibiting his own self portrait, perhaps a malicious confrontation to demonstrate his superiority in the technique.
He made his Salon debut with a pastel portrait in 1746 and received full membership in the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1753, with portraits of fellow artist Jean-Baptiste Oudry and the sculptor Lambert-Sigisbert Adam, both now at the Louvre Museum. After 1779 he no longer exhibited in the Paris Salons, but the clientele in his portraits reveal how widely he travelled in the provinces of France, with a group of sitters connected with Orleans, but also in Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lyon. Farther afield he may have been in Turin and Rome, and in Spain, Hamburg, Poland, Russia and England.
He died in Amsterdam virtually unknown, according to his biographers.NEER, Eglon van der
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1634-1703
Son of Aert van der Neer. His birth date is based on Houbraken's statement that the artist was 70 years old when he died. He apparently studied first with his father and then with the genre and history painter Jacob van Loo. According to Houbraken, van der Neer was in France c. 1654, where he served as painter to the Counts of Dona, Dutch governors of the principality of Orange. He returned to Holland by 1659 and is recorded as a resident of Amsterdam at the time of his marriage to Maria van Wagensvelt in Rotterdam on 20 February 1659. Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow
Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow (7 September 1789 - 19 March 1862) was a German Romantic painter.
He was born in Berlin and was the second son of the sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow.
In 1806-1807 Friedrich served as a soldier. In 1810 he traveled with his elder brother Rudolph to Rome where he became one of the leaders among painters of the Nazarene movement. Following the example of Johann Friedrich Overbeck and others, he joined the Roman Catholic Church, and held that an artist must believe and live out the truths he essays to paint. The sequel showed that Schadow was qualified to shine more as a teacher and mentor than as a painter. As an author, he is best known for his lecture, Ueber den Einfluss des Christentums auf die bildende Kunst (About The Influence of Christianity On The Visual Arts) (Desseldorf, 1843), and the biographical sketches, Der moderne Vasari (Berlin, 1854).
In Rome, Schadow was given one of his first major commissions when the Prussian Consul-General, General Jakob Salomon Bartholdy, befriended the young painter, and asked him and three young compatriots (Cornelius, Overbeck and Veit) to decorate in fresco a room in his house on the Pincian Hill. The overall theme selected was the story of Joseph and his brethren, and two scenes, the Bloody Coat and Joseph in Prison, were conferred on Schadow. In 1819, Schadow was appointed professor in the prestigious Berlin Academy of the Arts, and his ability and thorough training gained many devoted disciples.
It was during this period that Schadow developed his paintings for churches. In 1826, Professor Schadow was made director of the Desseldorf Academy of the Arts, which he reoriented towards the production of Christian art, though he began a major dispute with one of its professors, Heinrich Christoph Kolbe, ending in the latter leaving the Academy in 1832. In 1837, Schadow selected, at request, those of his students best qualified to decorate the chapel of St Apollinaris on the Rhine with frescoes. When finished, they were acclaimed as the fullest and purest manifestation of the spiritual side of the Desseldorf school. One of his famous students, Heinrich Mucke, carried on the liturgical art with emphasis both in painting and frescoes. The painting of the "Wise and Foolish Virgins," considered one of his masterworks, was commissioned in 1842. Now in the Städel Museum, this large and important picture, while carefully considered and rendered, it however lacks power of some of his other works.