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 Arranging Her Hair | Lady at the Tea Table | The Letter | The Tea | Mother and Child jjjj |
Related Artists:Nathaniel Currier
American lithographer and print publishers , 1813-1888
was an American lithographer, who headed the company Currier & Ives with James Ives. Currier was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Nathaniel and Hannah Currier. He attended public school until age fifteen, when he was apprenticed to the Boston printing firm of William and John Pendleton. The Pendletons were the first successful lithographers in the United States, lithography having only recently been invented in Europe, and Currier learned the process in their shop. He subsequently went to work for M. E. D. Brown in Philadelphia, in 1833. The following year, Currier moved to New York City, where he was to start a new business with John Pendleton. Pendleton backed out, and the new firm became Currier & Stodart, which lasted only one year. In addition to being a lithographer, he was also a volunteer fireman in the 1850s. In 1835, Currier started his own lithographic business as an eponymous sole proprietorship. He initially engaged in standard lithographic business of printing sheet music, letterheads, handbills, etc. However, he soon took his work in a new direction, creating pictures of current events. In late 1835, he issued a print illustrating a recent fire in New York. Ruins of the Merchant's Exchange N.Y. after the Destructive Conflagration of Decbr 16 & 17, 1835 was published by the New York Sun, just four days after the fire, and was an early example of illustrated news.Anthonis Mor
(c. 1517 - 1577) was a Netherlandish portrait painter, much in demand by the courts of Europe. He has also been referred to as Antoon, Anthonius, Anthonis, or Mor van Dashorst, Antonio Moro, Anthony More, etc., but signed most of his portraits as, Anthonis Mor.
Mor was born in Utrecht, Netherlands by some estimation between 1516 and 1520. What is known of his early life is that his artistic education commenced under Jan van Scorel. His earliest work is probably a portrait at Stockholm, dated 1538.
A group of Knights of St. John, at Utrecht, supposed to have been painted about 1541; a picture of two pilgrims at the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, dated 1544; together with the portrait of an unknown woman, in the Lille gallery, were probably among his earliest works although their authenticity has not been proved.
In 1547, he was received as a member of the Venerable Guild of St. Luke at Antwerp, and shortly afterwards (about 1548) he attracted the attention of Cardinal Granvelle, Bishop of Arras, who became his steady patron. Of the portraits executed during the early period of his career as Granvelle's protege, two are especially notable: one of the bishop himself (in the imperial gallery in Vienna), and one of the Duke of Alba, which now belongs to the Hispanic Society of New York. Between 1549 and 1550 Prince Philip II of Spain (1527-1598) traveled around the Netherlands to present himself as the future ruler. Mor painted his portrait in Brussels in 1549. He probably visited Italy (when exactly is not known) where he copied some works by Titian, notably the Danaë.Martin Johann Schmidt
Austrian Painter, 1718-1801,was one of the most outstanding Austrian painters of the late Baroque/Rococo along with Franz Anton Maulbertsch. A son of the sculptor Johannes Schmidt and a pupil of Gottlieb Starmayr, he spent most of his life at Stein, where he mostly worked in the numerous churches and monasteries of his Lower Austrian homeland. While the evolution of his style after 1750 shows that he had either spent a formative period in northern Italy or had at least had extensive contact with northern Italian works of art prior to that date, his works are also clearly influenced by Rembrandt (visible above all in his etchings) and the great fresco-painters of the Austrian Baroque, Paul Troger and Daniel Gran. Despite not having received formal academic training, in 1768 he was made a member of the imperial academy at Vienna due to his artistic merits, which by that time had already been recognized by a wider public inside and outside of Austria. Primarily he painted devotional images for private devotion and churches, including a considerable number of large altar paintings. His lively and colourful style made him extremely popular with people from all levels of society already during his lifetime. From 1780 mythological and low-life themes became increasingly frequent, only to be replaced by a renewed concentration on religious topics during the very last years of Schmidt's life. He was at that an important draughtsman and has left numerous etchings which clearly show Rembrandt's influence. While his earlier works typically show a warm chiaroscuro, from about 1770 he used increasingly stronger and more lively colours. Simultanueously, both his style and his brush technique became much more free, making him, like Franz Anton Maulbertsch, an important predecessor of impressionism. In this aspect, his mature style is completely contrary to neoclassicism, the style which increasingly dominated European art after about 1780.