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 :. | On the Meadow | Alan and Jadena | Two Children on the Beach | At the Opera | Woman Bathing |
Related Artists:J.S. Wahl
painted Jens Bing in1700s
Isaac van Ostade
(bapt. June 2, 1621, Haarlem - buried October 16, 1649, Haarlem) was a Dutch genre and landscape painter.
Van Ostade began his studies under his brother, Adriaen, with whom he remained till 1641, when he started his own practice. At an early period he felt the influence of Rembrandt, and this is apparent in a Slaughtered Pig of 1639, in the gallery of Augsburg. He soon found a style more suited to his own inclinations. He produced pictures in 1641-1642 on the lines of his brother - amongst these, the Five Senses, which Adrian afterwards represented by a Man reading a Paper, a Peasant tasting Beer, a Rustic smearing his Sores with Ointment and a Countryman sniffing at a Snuff-box. A specimen of Isaac's work at this period may be seen in the Laughing Boor with a Pot of Beer, in the museum of Amsterdam; the cottage interior, with two peasants and three children near a fire, in the Berlin museum; a Concert, with people listening to singers accompanied by a piper and flute player, and a Boor stealing a Kiss from a Woman, in the Lacaze collection at the Louvre.
The interior at Berlin is lighted from a casement in the same Rembrandtesque style as Adrian's interior of 1643 at the Louvre. He received low prices for this kind of painting, in which he could only remain subordinate to his brother. Gradually he abandoned Adrian's cottage subjects for landscapes in the fashion of Esaias van de Velde and Salomon van Ruysdael. Once only, in 1645, he reverted to the earlier mode, when he produced the Slaughtered Pig, with a boy puffing out a bladder, in the museum of Lille.
Isaac's progress in his new path was greatly facilitated by his previous experience as a figure painter; and, although he now selected his subjects either from village high streets or frozen canals, he gave fresh life to the scenes by depicting animated groups of people with a refined and searching study of picturesque contrasts. He did not live long enough to bring his art to the highest perfection. He died on 16 October 1649 having painted about 400 pictures (see H de Groot, 1910).
The first manifestation of Isaac's surrender of Adrian's style is apparent in 1644 when the skating and sledging scenes were executed which we see in the Lacaze collection and the galleries of the Hermitage, Antwerp and Lille. Three of these examples bear the artists name, spelled Isack van Ostade, and the dates of 1644 and 1645. The roadside inns, with halts of travellers, form a compact series from 1646 to 1649. This is the last form of Isaac's art and has very distinct peculiarities. The air which pervades his composition is warm and sunny, yet mellow and hazy, as if the sky were veiled with a vapour coloured by moor smoke. The trees are rubbings of umber, in which the prominent foliage is tipped with touches hardened in a liquid state by amber varnish mediums. The same principle applied to details such asglazed bricks or rents in the mud lining of cottages gives an unreal and conventional stamp to them.
These quirks are overcome by his broad contrasts of light and shade and the masterly figures of horses, riders, travellers, rustics, quarrelling children, dogs, poultry and cattle. A favorite place is always given to the white horse, which seems as invariable an accompaniment as the grey in the skirmishes and fairs of Philip Wouwerman.
Isaac displays the best qualities in winter scenes. The absence of foliage, the crisp atmosphere and the calm air of cold January days, unsullied by smoke or vapour, preclude the use of the brown tinge, and leave the painter no choice but to ring the changes with a great variety of opal tints. Then the figures emerge with masterly effect on the light background. Amongst the roadside inns it is worth noting those in the collections of Buckingham Palace, the National Gallery, London, the Wallace Collection and Holford collections in England, the Louvre, Berlin, Hermitage and Rotterdam museums and the Rothschild collection at Vienna. The finest of the ice scenes is the famous one at the Louvre.
Geertgen Tot Sint Jans
Netherlandish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1460-1490
Geertgen tot Sint Jans is also known as Geertgen van Haarlem, Gerrit van Haarlem, or Gerrit Gerritsz. Alternative spellings of his first name are Gheertgen, Geerrit, and Gheerrit, where G(h)eertgen is the diminutive form of G(h)eerrit.
Presumably, he was born in Leiden, then in the Burgundian Netherlands in the Holy Roman Empire, around the year 1465. The assignment of Leiden as his birth place is traceable to a 17th century print by Jacob van Matham. There is no known archival evidence for this claim by Jacob van Matham. The modern acceptance of Leiden as Geertgen's birth place is roughly traceable to Johann Kessler's dissertation of 1930.
Probably, Geertgen was a pupil of Albert van Ouwater, who was one of the first oil painters in the northern Low Countries. Both painters lived in the city of Haarlem. Geertgen was attached to the monastery of the Knights of Saint John, for whom he painted an altarpiece. Although Geertgen was not a member of the Order of Saint John, his last name "tot Sint Jans" was derived from the order's name and means "unto Saint John".
Geertgen died in Haarlem, then the Habsburg Netherlands in the Holy Roman Empire, around the year 1495, when he was approximately 28 years old. He was buried in the monastery of the Knights of Saint John. Modern scholars have attempted to calculate the artist's death date with the information from The Painting-Book (Middle Dutch: Het Schilder-Boeck) by Karel van Mander, published in 1604. There are some archival traces that suggest he may in fact have lived into the 16th century.