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 :. | Portrait of Alan | The little girl in the blue Sofa | Two Children on the Beach | Reading | The Bath |
Related Artists:Nicolaas Pieneman
(1 January 1809, Amersfoort - 30 December 1860, Amsterdam) was a Dutch painter and lithographer. His father, Jan Willem Pieneman, was also a painter. Nicolaas Pieneman was a friend of William II of the Netherlands, whom he painted during his inauguration in 1840Theophanes the Cretan
active 1527-1559,was a leading icon painter of the Cretan school in the first half of the sixteenth century, and in particular the most important figure in Greek wall-painting of the period.
He was born in Heraklion (date unknown), and no doubt trained there, but all his known work was done in mainland Greece. Frescoes bearing his signature survive in the Greek monasteries of Mt. Athos, especially Stavronikita monastery and Lavra, and Meteora which has his earliest dated work, from 1527. He also did many panel icons, either for iconostases or small portable works. Theophanes was active from about 1527-48, and trained his sons and several pupils, often themselves Cretan. By 1535 both he and his two sons had become monks in the Lavra monastery of Mount Athos, where many of his best works remain. Theophanes returned to Crete before his death in 1559.
Two detached wallpaintings attributed to Theophanes are in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Like most Cretan painters of this date, his work shows some influence from Western painting, but less in his case than with many artists. Some faces are personalised or looking out to the viewer, and his figures are modelled to convey volume. His work is more conscious of visual perspective than older Byzantine artists, but he does not use the geometrical perspective schemes by then standard in the West. He uses traditional Byzantine compositions, in a rather austere and powerful manner.
He should not be confused with Theophanes the Greek (Feofan Grek), an icon painter who worked in Muscovite Russia in the late fourteenth century.LONGHI, Pietro
Italian Rococo Era Painter, ca.1702-1785
Painter and draughtsman. His father, Alessandro Falca, encouraged his natural talent for drawing, and he studied under Antonio Balestra for 'several years', according to his son, Alessandro Longhi. Balestra probably took Pietro to Bologna and recommended him to Giuseppe Maria Crespi. No documents exist on Longhi until 1732, the year he married, and some doubt has been expressed about his study with Crespi. There is no trace of Crespi's influence in Longhi's altarpiece for the parish church of S Pellegrino in Bologna, St Pellegrino Condemned to Death, installed in 1732; Crespi's style is an intimate one, however, and would have been inappropriate for such a large altarpiece. One of Longhi's first independent works, the St Pellegrino altarpiece recalls his Venetian origins and training in its broken brushwork and colour glazes. In another early work, the Adoration of the Magi (Venice, Scuola Grande S Giovanni Evangelista), documented in 1733 as at S Maria Materdomini, Venice, the subject-matter lends itself to a more domestic treatment, and Crespi's influence is evident. Both these works contain passages anticipating Longhi's subsequent development as a genre painter; in each picture a boy or young man, perhaps a self-portrait, gazes out at the spectator, unconcerned with events in the painting.