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 :. | Woman on a Striped Sofa with a Dog | Lydia Crocheting in the Garden at Marly | Artist in the garden | Woman with Dog ghgh | People Picking up the flower at the field |
Related Artists:Joaquin Torres-Garcia
Uruguayan Painter and Sculptor, 1874-1949,was a Uruguayan artist (in a variety of media) and art theorist, also known as the founder of Constructive Universalism. Born in Montevideo, Torres Garcia later travelled extensively, and lived for some time in Barcelona, New York, Paris, and Madrid. He returned to Uruguay in 1934. Odilon Redon
French Symbolist Painter, 1840-1916
Bertrand-Jean Redon, better known as Odilon Redon (April 20, 1840 ?C July 6, 1916) was a Symbolist painter and printmaker, born in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France. Odilon was a nickname derived from his mother, Odile.
Redon started drawing as a young child, and at the age of 10 he was awarded a drawing prize at school. At age 15, he began formal study in drawing but on the insistence of his father he switched to architecture. His failure to pass the entrance exams at Paris?? Ecole des Beaux-Arts ended any plans for a career as an architect, although he would later study there under Jean-L??on Gerôme.
Back home in his native Bordeaux, he took up sculpture, and Rodolphe Bresdin instructed him in etching and lithography. However, his artistic career was interrupted in 1870 when he joined the army to serve in the Franco-Prussian War.
At the end of the war, he moved to Paris, working almost exclusively in charcoal and lithography. It would not be until 1878 that his work gained any recognition with Guardian Spirit of the Waters, and he published his first album of lithographs, titled Dans le R??ve, in 1879. Still, Redon remained relatively unknown until the appearance in 1884 of a cult novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans titled, À rebours (Against Nature). The story featured a decadent aristocrat who collected Redon's drawings.
In the 1890s, he began to use pastel and oils, which dominated his works for the rest of his life. In 1899, he exhibited with the Nabis at Durand-Ruel's. In 1903 he was awarded the Legion of Honor. His popularity increased when a catalogue of etchings and lithographs was published by Andr?? Mellerio in 1913 and that same year, he was given the largest single representation at the New York Armory Show. In 1923 Mellerio published: Odilon Redon: Peintre Dessinateur et Graveur. An archive of Mellerio's papers is held by the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 2005 the Museum of Modern Art launched an exhibition entitled "Beyond The Visible", a comprehensive overview of Redon's work showcasing more than 100 paintings, drawings, prints and books from The Ian Woodner Family Collection. The exhibition ran from October 30, 2005 to January 23, 2006. Baron Antoine-Jean Gros
Baron Antoine-Jean Gros Galleries
The son of a painter, Antoine Jean Gros was born in Paris on March 16, 1771. At the age of 14 he entered the studio of Jacques Louis David, the acknowledged leader of the classical revival. Although his own work became radically different from David's, he maintained a lifelong respect for his teacher and envisioned himself as the upholder of the Davidian tradition.
In 1787 Gros entered the Acad??mie de Peinture, and when the Acad??mie dissolved in 1793 (a result of the French Revolution) he went to Italy. He met Josephine Bonaparte in Genoa in 1796, and she introduced him to Napoleonic society. Gros entered Napoleon's immediate entourage and accompanied him on several north Italian campaigns. Gros also became involved with Napoleon's program of confiscating Italian art for removal to France.
Gros returned to Paris in 1800 and began to show his Napoleonic paintings in the annual Salons. The most famous of these are the Pesthouse at Jaffa (1804) and Napoleon at Eylau (1808). These works served to deify Napoleon, showing him engaged in acts of heroism and mercy. Stylistically, the paintings were revolutionary:their exotic settings, rich color, agitated space, and general penchant for showing the gruesome specifics of war and suffering differed radically from the cool generalizations of Davidian classicism that Gros had learned as a student. The presentation of contemporary historical events was also new, a harbinger of the realism that developed steadily during the first half of the 19th century in French, American, and English painting. Finally, the emphatic emotionalism of Gros's art established the foundation of romantic painting that Th??odore G??ricault and Eug??ne Delacroix developed after him.
Unlike that of some of his countrymen (David is a case in point), Gros's position did not suffer after the fall of Napoleon. Gros painted for the restored monarchy, for instance, Louis XVIII Leaving the Tuileries (1817), and he decorated the dome of the Panth??on in Paris with scenes of French history (1814-1824). For this Charles X made him a baron in 1824. But these works lack the zest and commitment of Gros's Napoleonic period, perhaps because they were not based on the immediate kinds of historical experiences that had inspired the earlier paintings.
Although marked by considerable public success, Gros's later career was in many ways acutely troubled. Basically, he could not resolve his personal esthetic theories with his own painting or with the work of his younger contemporaries. To the end Gros wished to propagate the classicism of David, and he took over David's studio when the master was exiled in 1816. By the 1820s, however, the revolutionary romanticism of G??ricault and Delacroix, among others, had clearly begun to eclipse classicism, and Gros found himself fighting a lonely and losing battle for conservatism. Ironically, he was fighting a trend that his own best work had helped to originate. As he persisted, moreover, his own painting began to show a diffident mixture of classic and romantic attitudes. Thus, while he was inherently a romantic, he tragically came to doubt himself. Gros died on June 26, 1835, apparently a suicide.