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 :. | At the Opera | Women complimenting the child | Young Girl Reading | The young mother is sewing | Lady at the Tea Table |
Related Artists:David Klocker Ehrenstrahl
German, 1629-1698,Swedish nobleman and portrait painter who in 1652, at twenty-four years of age, at the request of Carl Gustaf Wrangel, moved to Skokloster Castle, from his art studies in the Netherlands. Between 1654 and 1661 he studied in Italy and visited the courts of both France and England. On his return he became entitled Court painter. He was raised to the nobility in 1674 and became court indendant in 1690. Mikael Dahl and David von Krafft as well as his daughter Anna Maria (born 1666) can be found among his pupils. The allegoric great hall ceiling fresco, named The Great Deeds of The Swedish Kings, in the Swedish House of Knights, made between 1670 and 1675, is considered to be his greatest work. A second version was made in Drottningholm Palace, the home of the Swedish Royal Family, in 1695. The Drottningholm fresco, also became the motive of the 1000th and ever largest postage stamp by Czeslaw Slania, the Polish Juan Manuel Blanes
(June 8, 1830 - April 15, 1901) was a noted Uruguayan painter of the Realist school.
Blanes was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1830. He was raised by his mother, with whom he relocated to the countryside in his early teens. Blanes took an interest in drawing at this point, and shortly afterwards, was hired as an illustrator for a Montevideo newsdaily, El Defensor de la Independencia Americana. Earning extra income with watercolors, he returned to his mother and, in 1854, established his first atelier.
He married Marea Linari, and in 1855, the couple settled in Salto, where he worked as a portrait painter. They relocated to Concepcien del Uruguay (across the Uruguay River, in Argentina) in 1857, and Blanes was commissioned by Argentine President Justo Jose de Urquiza to complete a number of portraits, allegories and landscapes to grace his nearby estancia, the Palacio San Jose. Returning to Montevideo in 1861, the talented painter obtained a scholarship from the Uruguayan government, and with it, traveled with his family to Florence, Italy, where he studied under Antonio Ciseri until 1864.
The experience became a valuable calling card for Blanes, who became of Uruguay's most sought-after portraiteurs. The 1871 outbreak of a yellow fever epidemic in Buenos Aires inspired his first renowned work, which he exhibited to acclaim in the recovering city. His 1872 portrait of the Argentine War of Independence hero, General Jose de San Marten (The Review in Rancagua), was also a success in Buenos Aires, and Blanes was invited to Chile to display the historic depiction.Antoni Piotrowski
(Bulgarian: Antoni Pyotrovski; 1853-1924) was a Polish Romanticist and Realist painter.
Piotrowski was born in Nietulisko Duże in 1853 near Kunew, then in the Russian Empire (today in Poland), to a sheet iron worker. From 1869 on, Piotrowski studied painting with professor Wojciech Gerson. From 1875 to 1877 he was tutored in Munich by Wilhelm Lindenschmit the Younger and from 1877 to 1879 his teacher was Jan Matejko of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakew.
In 1879, Piotrowski arrived to the newly-liberated Principality of Bulgaria as a correspondent of the British issues The Graphic and The Illustrated London News and the French Illustration and Le Monde Illustre. He moved to Paris only to return to Bulgaria in 1885 to join the Serbo-Bulgarian War as a Bulgarian volunteer. For his merits during the fighting he was honoured with an Order of Bravery.
During his time in the Bulgarian Army Piotrowski painted the Battle of Slivnitsa, the storming of Tsaribrod and the Bulgarian entry in Pirot. All his nine military works were purchased by the Bulgarian state and are exhibited in the National Museum of Military History in Sofia. He also published graphics from the war in various Western European illustrated issues. Among his works were also portraits of Bulgarian princes (knyaze) Alexander of Battenberg and Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha; Piotrowski was awarded an Order of Civil Merit by the latter.
Piotrowski returned to Bulgaria in 1889: he visited Batak and painted his epic canvas The Batak Massacre. This painting of his won an award at the Plovdiv Fair in 1892. In 1900 Piotrowski returned to Poland and settled in Warsaw.