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 :. | Two Children on the Beach | Portrait of Alan | moder och barn | At the Window | Gathering Fruit |
Related Artists:Frank Dillon
painted The Colossal Pair, Thebes in 1856Ignazio Danti
was an Italian priest, mathematician, astronomer, and cosmographer. Danti was born in Perugia to a family rich in artists and scientists. As a boy he learned the rudiments of painting and architecture from his father Giulio, an architect and engineer who studied under Antonio da Sangallo, and his aunt Teodora, who was said to have studied under the painter Perugino and also wrote a commentary on Euclid. His older brother Vincenzo Danti would become one of the leading court sculptors of late-sixteenth-century Florence, while his younger brother Girolamo (1547-1580) would become a local Perugian painter of little fame. Danti entered the Dominican Order on March 7, 1555, changing his baptismal name from Pellegrino to Ignazio. After completing his studies in philosophy and theology he gave some time to preaching, but soon devoted himself zealously to mathematics, astronomy, and geography. In 1562, he requested a transfer from the Dominican compound in Perugia to the monastery of San Marco in Florence. Soon after, he found work on the side tutoring the children of wealthy Florentines in mathematics and science. In September 1563, he was invited by Cosimo I, Duke of Tuscany to participate in his great cosmographical project, the Guardaroba in the Palazzo Vecchio. Over the next dozen years, Danti would paint 30 maps of regions of the world (based largely upon published prints by Giacomo Gastaldi, Abraham Ortelius, Gerardus Mercator, and others) upon the cabinet doors of the Guardaroba. He would also work on many other significant scientific and cosmographic projects in Florence, including the large terrestrial globe of the Guardaroba (1564-1568), and a number of brass scientific instruments (such as an astrolabe) today in the Museo di Storia della Scienza in Florence. Between 1567 and 1569, Pius V, who belonged to the Dominicans, is said to have commissioned Danti to furnish plans for the construction of a Dominican church and convent at Bosco Marengo in Piedmont; Danti acted mainly as an advisor. During his stay in Florence, Danti taught mathematics and published over a dozen scientific treatises, mostly commentaries on ancient and medieval astronomy and mathematics or explanations of how to use scientific instruments. For much of his time in Florence, Danti resided at the convent of Santa Maria Novella, and designed the quadrant (on the right) and the armillary sphere (on the left) that appear on the end blind arches of the lower facade of the church in 1572 and 1574, respectively. He also designed a large-scale gnomon for the church which would allow a thin beam of light to enter the church at noon each day through a hole just beneath the facade's rose window, although it probably was not completed by the time Danti left Florence. There were also discussions between the Duke and Danti about building a canal to place Florence in communication with both the Mediterranean and the Adriatic. However, this grandiose plan never got underway before Cosimo's death in (1574). The following year Cosimo's son, Grand Duke Francesco I de' Medici, forced Danti to leave Florence (in late September 1575) on an uncertain morals charge. It is not known precisely why Francesco exiled Danti, but it should be noted that the Dominican had no trouble finding work or patrons anywhere else in Italy, although he never returned to Florence before his death. After leaving Florence, Danti became professor of mathematics at the University of Bologna. While occupying this chair he built a massive gnomon in the Bolognese church of San Petronio, the meridian line of which is still visible in the church's pavement. He also spent some time in Perugia, at the invitation of the governor, where he prepared maps of the Perugian republic. On account of his mathematical attainments, Pope Gregory XIII invited him to Rome, appointed him pontifical mathematician and made him a member of the commission for the reform of the calendar. He also placed him in charge of the painters whom the Pope had summoned to the Vatican to continue the decoration of the palace, most notably to make a number of maps of the regions of modern Italy in the newly constructed Gallery of Maps along the Cortile del Belvedere. This remarkable project, begun in early 1580 and completed about 18 months later, maps the entirety of the Italian peninsula in 40 large-scale frescoes, each depicting a region as well as a perspective view of its most prominent city. When the pontiff commissioned the architect Domenico Fontana to repair the Claudian harbour it was Danti who furnished the necessary plans. While at Rome Danti published a translation of a portion of Euclid with annotations and wrote a life of the architect Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, preparing also notes for the latter's work on perspective. In recognition of his labours Gregory, in 1583, made him Bishop of Alatri in the Campagna. Danti showed himself a zealous pastor in his new office.PALAMEDESZ, Antonie
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1601-1673