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 :. | The woman taking the fan | After the Bath | Child in mother-s arm | Betweenmaid with kid | Mary readinf for her grandchildren |
Related Artists:Edwin Blashfield
(December 5, 1848 - October 12, 1936), an American artist, was born in New York City.
He was a pupil of Leon Joseph Florentin Bonnat in Paris beginning in 1867, and became (1888) a member of the National Academy of Design in New York. For some years a genre painter, he later turned to decorative work, where his academic background in painting and extensive travels to study fresco painting in Italy melded in work marked by rare delicacy and beauty of coloring.
Considered a leading muralist of the late 19th century, he painted mural decorations or created mosaics in a number of places associated with the American Renaissance period.
His style is cited as an influence of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Jean-Paul Laurens, and Paul Baudr.
With his wife he wrote Italian Cities (1900) and edited Vasari's Lives of the Painters (1896), and was well known as a lecturer and writer on art. He became president of the Society of Mural Painters, and of the Society of American Artists.
1816 Diepenbend/Aachen-1859 Dusseldorf, was a German history painter. Rethel was born in Aachen in 1816. He showed an interest in art in his early life, and at the age of thirteen he executed a drawing which procured his admission to the academy of D??sseldorf. Here he studied for several years, and produced, among other works, a figure of St Boniface, which attracted much attention. At the age of twenty, Rethel moved to Frankfurt, and was selected to decorate the walls of the imperial hall in the Rmer with figures of famous men. At the same period he produced a series of designs illustrative of Old Testament history. Four years later, Rethel was the successful competitor for the work of ornamenting the restored council house of his native city with frescoes depicting prominent events in the career of Charlemagne, but the execution of this work was delayed for some six years. Meanwhile Rethel occupied himself with the production of easel pictures and of drawings. In 1842, he began a striking series of designs dealing with the Crossing of the Alps by Hannibal, in which the weird power which animates his later art becomes first apparent. In 1844 Rethel visited Rome, executing, along with other subjects, an altar-piece for one of the churches of his native land. In 1846, he returned to Aachen, and commenced his Charlemagne frescoes.James Holland
English painter. As a boy he was employed for seven years to paint flowers on pottery in the factory of John Davenport ( fl 1793; d 1848) of Longport. In 1819 Holland moved to London, where he continued at first to work as a pottery painter but also undertook watercolours of flowers and natural history subjects, exhibiting his works at the Royal Academy from 1824. After 1828 oil paintings predominated over watercolours in the many pictures that he exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Society of Painters in Water-Colours (of which he was made an associate in 1835), the British Institution and the Society of British Artists. He travelled to Paris in 1831 and subsequently made repeated tours of the Continent. Buildings in European cities now became his favourite subject, and above all, scenes of Venice, which he first visited in 1835; his Venetian views have sometimes been confused with those by Richard Parkes Bonington. In 1837 he was commissioned by the Landscape Annual to make drawings in Portugal, which were engraved in the issue for 1839. He travelled again to Venice in 1845, 1851 and 1857, making sketches en route of the Low Countries, France, Switzerland and Austria. Other subjects favoured by Holland were Blackheath and Greenwich (both London), where he lived from 1830 to 1845. He was renowned for his fluent draughtsmanship and for his brilliant colouring in both oils and watercolours, making liberal use of gouache in the latter. The contents of his studio were auctioned at Christie's, London, on 26 May 1870.