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 :. | In the Garden ff | Study of Zeny and her child | Artist in the garden | Portrait of Alan | Woman in Black |
Related Artists:Florine Stettheimer
(August 29, 1871 - May 11, 1944) was an American artist. She has been described as "a Deco-influenced early Modernist whos never really gotten her due".
Florine was born in Rochester, New York to Joseph Stettheimer and Rosetta Walter. Her father, a banker, left the family before the children were grown. She was the fourth of five children: Walter, Stella, Carrie, Florine, and Ettie. After Walter and Stella married, the youngest three immured with their mother to form an epicurean way of life.She spent much of her early life traveling, studying art in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Switzerland. She studied for three years in the mid-1890s at the Art Students League of New York, but came into her own artistically upon her permanent return to New York after the start of World War I. In October 1916, the only one-person exhibition of her work during her lifetime took place at New York's Knoedler & Company. She exhibited 12 "high-keyed, decorative paintings", none of which were sold.
Cushioned by family resources, Stettheimer refrained from self-promotion and considered her painting "an entirely private pursuit". She intended to have her works destroyed after her death, a wish defied by her sister Ettie, her executor.
Stettheimer's privileged position pervades her work. As one critic has written, "money she regarded as a birthright, decidedly not something to be flaunted in the shape of a dozen yachts, but rather to be used as a palliative against the more unpleasant aspects of the world outside... In this frame of mind, she felt free to depict life as a series of boating parties, picnics, summertime naps, parades and strolls down Fifth Avenue."
She created the sets and costumes for the 1934 production of Four Saints in Three Acts, an opera by Virgil Thomson with a libretto by Gertrude Stein. Her designs, which used cellophane in innovative ways, proved to be the project for which she was best known during her lifetime.
She assisted her sister Carrie in the creation of the Stettheimer Dollhouse, now in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York. The house is a whimsical depiction of an upper-class residence, filled with works by Stettheimer's artist friends, including William Zorach, Alexander Archipenko, and Gaston Lachaise.Wilhelm Trubner
was a German realist painter of the circle of Wilhelm Leibl. Trubner was born in Heidelberg and had early training as a goldsmith. In 1867 he met classicist painter Anselm Feuerbach who encouraged him to study painting, and he began studies in Karlsruhe under Fedor Dietz. The next year saw him studying at the Kunstacademie in Munich, where he was to be greatly impressed by an international exhibition of paintings by Leibl and Gustave Courbet. Courbet visited Munich in 1869, not only exhibiting his work but demonstrating his alla prima method of working quickly from nature in public performances. This had an immediate impact on many of the city's young artists, who found Courbet's approach an invigorating alternative to the shopworn academic tradition. The early 1870s were a period of discovery for Tr??bner. He travelled to Italy, Holland and Belgium, and in Paris encountered the art of Manet, whose influence can be seen in the spontaneous yet restrained style of Trubner's portraits and landscapes. During this period he also made the acquaintance of Carl Schuch, Albert Lang and Hans Thoma, German painters who, like Trubner, greatly admired the unsentimental realism of Wilhelm Leibl. This group of artists came to be known as the "Leibl circle". He published writings on art theory in 1892 and 1898, which express above all the idea that "beauty must lie in the painting itself, not in the subject". By urging the viewer to discover beauty in a painting's formal values, its colors, proportions, and surface, Trubner advanced a philosophy of "art for art's sake". John Liston Byam Shaw