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 :. | Girl Sewing | The girl do up her hair | The little girl in the blue Sofa | Kiss | Portrait of artist |
Related Artists:Angelica Kauffmann
Swiss(Resident in England)
She was born at Chur in Graub??nden, Switzerland, but grew up in Schwarzenberg in Vorarlberg/Austria where her family originated. Her father, Joseph Johann Kauffmann, was a relatively poor man but a skilled painter that was often traveling around for his works. He was apparently very successful in teaching his precocious daughter. She rapidly acquired several languages from her mother Cleophea Lutz, read incessantly, and showed marked talents as a musician. Her greatest progress, however, was in painting; and in her twelfth year she had become a notability, with bishops and nobles for her sitters. In 1754 her father took her to Milan. Later visits to Italy of long duration followed: in 1763 she visited Rome, returning again in 1764. From Rome she passed to Bologna and Venice, being everywhere feted and caressed, as much for her talents as for her personal charms.
Writing from Rome in August 1764 to his friend Franke, Winckelmann refers to her exceptional popularity. She was then painting his picture, a half-length, of which she also made an etching. She spoke Italian as well as German, he says; and she also expressed herself with facility in French and English, one result of the last-named accomplishment being that she became a popular portraitist for English visitors to Rome. "She may be styled beautiful," he adds, "and in singing may vie with our best virtuosi." While at Venice, she was induced by Lady Wentworth, the wife of the German ambassador, to accompany her to London. One of her first works was a portrait of David Garrick, exhibited in the year of her arrival at "Mr Moreing's great room in Maiden Lane." The rank of Lady Wentworth opened society to her, and she was everywhere well received, the royal family especially showing her great favour.
Her firmest friend, however, was Sir Joshua Reynolds. In his pocket-book, her name as Miss Angelica or Miss Angel appears frequently, and in 1766 he painted her, a compliment which she returned by her Portrait of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Another instance of her intimacy with Reynolds is to be found in her variation of Guercino's Et in Arcadia ego, a subject which Reynolds repeated a few years later in his portrait of Mrs Bouverie and Mrs Crewe.
When, in about November 1767, she was entrapped into a clandestine marriage with an adventurer who passed for a Swedish count (the Count de Horn), Reynolds helped extract her. It was doubtless owing to his good offices that she was among the signatories to the famous petition to the king for the establishment of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. In its first catalogue of 1769 she appears with "R.A." after her name (an honour she shared with one other lady, Mary Moser); and she contributed the Interview of Hector and Andromache, and three other classical compositions.
Her friendship with Reynolds was criticised in 1775 by fellow Academician Nathaniel Hone in his satirical picture "The Conjurer". This attacked the fashion for Italianate Renaissance art, ridiculed Reynolds, and included a nude caricature of Kauffmann, later painted out by Hone. The work was rejected by the Royal Academy.
From 1769 until 1782, she was an annual exhibitor, sending sometimes as many as seven pictures, generally classic or allegorical subjects. One of the most notable was Leonardo expiring in the Arms of Francis the First 1778. In 1773 she was appointed by the Academy with others to decorate St Paul's Cathedral, and it was she who, with Biagio Rebecca, painted the Academy's old lecture room at Somerset House.
Kauffmann's strength was her work in history painting, the most elite and lucrative category in academic painting during the 18th century. Under the direction of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Academy made a strong effort to promote history painting to a native audience who were more interested in commissioning and buying portraits and landscapes. Despite the popularity that Kauffmann enjoyed in English society and her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy that the English had for history painting. Ultimately, she left England for the continent where history painting was better established, esteemed, and patronized.
Kauffmann (seated), in the company of other "Bluestockings" (1778)It is probable that her popularity declined a little in consequence of her unfortunate marriage; but in 1781, after her first husband's death (she had been long separated from him), she married Antonio Zucchi (1728?C1795), a Venetian artist then resident in England. Shortly afterwards she retired to Rome, where she befriended, among others, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who said she worked harder and accomplished more than any artist he knew, yet always restive she wanted to do more (Goethe's 'Italian Journey' 1786-1788) and lived for 25 years with much of her old prestige. In 1782 she lost her father; and in 1795, her husband. She continued at intervals to contribute to the Academy, her last exhibit being in 1797. After this she produced little, and in 1807 she died in Rome, being honoured by a splendid funeral under the direction of Canova. The entire Academy of St Luke, with numerous ecclesiastics and virtuosi, followed her to her tomb in San Andrea delle Fratte, and, as at the burial of Raphael, two of her best pictures were carried in procession.
The works of Angelica Kauffmann have not retained their reputation. She had a certain gift of grace, and considerable skill in composition. But her figures lack variety and expression; and it has been said that her men are masculine women (it is worth noting that, at the time, female artists were not allowed access to male models). Her colouring, however, is fairly enough defined by Gustav Friedrich Waagen's term "cheerful". As of 1911, rooms decorated by her brush were still to be seen in various quarters. At Hampton Court was a portrait of the duchess of Brunswick; in the National Portrait Gallery, a self-portrait . There were other pictures by her at Paris, at Dresden, in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, and in the Alte Pinakothek at Munich. The Munich example was another portrait of herself; and there was a third in the Uffizi at Florence. A few of her works in private collections were exhibited among the Old Masters at Burlington House. But she is perhaps best known by the numerous engravings from her designs by Schiavonetti, Bartolozzi and others. Those by Bartolozzi especially still found considerable favour with collectors.
Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827), arist, patriot, and founder of a major American art dynasty, named several of his children after great European artists, including a daughter, Angelica Kauffman Peale. Her life was written in 1810 by Giovanni de Rossi. It has also been used as the basis of a romance by Leon de Wailly (1838) and it prompted the charming novel contributed by Mrs Richmond Ritchie to the Cornhill Magazine in 1875 entitled Miss Angel.
She should not be confused with painter Angelika Kaufmann, who was born in 1935 in Carinthia, Austria.
Italian Painter, 1492-1527
He trained in Florence with Ridolfo Ghirlandaio and in the workshops of Antonio del Ceraiuolo ( fl 1st half 16th century) and Andrea del Sarto. What may be his earliest surviving work, the Virgin and Child with St John (c. 1513; Rome, Pal. Venezia), reflects the style of Ghirlandaio. Other early paintings, however, such as the Holy Family (Florence, Gal. Corsini), show the influence of Fra Bartolommeo and Andrea del Sarto and are little affected by Ghirlandaio. The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John (c. 1522; Florence, Pitti) clearly reflects the examples of Fra Bartolommeo and Raphael, with the figures in the manner of Andrea del Sarto. The figure of the Christ Child may derive from Raphael's Madonna of the Pinks (c. 1507-8; Alnwick Castle, Northumb., on loan to London, N.G.). Over a dozen drawings have been attributed to Puligo, but none relates to his extant work or resembles his style of painting. Vasari described him as a particularly lazy artist, which may account for this scarcity of drawings and for the frequency of borrowed motifs and repeated compositions in his smaller religious paintings. Such borrowing often resulted in a lack of harmony in his compositions, as in the Pitti Virgin and Child. The influence of the more sculptural forms of Andrea del Sarto's work of the 1520s can be seen in the Mary Magdalene (c. 1525; Ottawa, N.G.). Francesco Brina
Florence cIRCA 1540-1585/6