Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt's Oil Paintings
Mary Cassatt Museum
May 22, 1844 - June 14, 1926. Was an American painter.

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Mary Cassatt
Woman in Black
Woman in Black, 1882, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
ID: 58323

Mary Cassatt Woman in Black
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Mary Cassatt Woman in Black


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Mary Cassatt

1844-1926 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 Arranging her Hair | Little Girl in a Blue Armchair | The Bath | Susan hoding the dog in balcony | Summertime |
Related Artists:
Hendrick Goltzius
1558-1617 Dutch Hendrik Goltzius (1558 - January 1, 1617), Dutch printmaker, draftsman, and painter, was born at Millebrecht, in the duchy of Julich. He was the leading Dutch engraver of the early Baroque period, noted for his sophisticated technique. After studying painting on glass for some years under his father, he was taught the use of the burin by Dirk Volkertszoon Coornhert, a Dutch engraver of mediocre attainment, whom he soon surpassed, but who retained his services for his own advantage. He was also employed by Philip Galle to engrave a set of prints of the history of Lucretia. At the age of 21 he married a widow somewhat advanced in years, whose money enabled him to establish at Haarlem an independent business; but his unpleasant relations with her so affected his health that he found it advisable in 1590 to make a tour through Germany to Italy, where he acquired an intense admiration for the works of Michelangelo, which led him to emulate that master in the grotesqueness and extravagance of his designs. He returned to Haarlem considerably improved in health, and laboured there at his art till his death. Goltzius' painting Lot and his daughters (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam) shows Lot being seduced by his two daughters. Sodom and Gomorrah are shown burning in the background, with Lot's wife who had turned into a pillar of salt, in front.Goltzius ought not to be judged chiefly by the works he valued most, his eccentric imitations of Michelangelo. His portraits, though mostly miniatures, are masterpieces of their kind, both on account of their exquisite finish, and as fine studies of individual character. Of his larger heads, the life-size portrait of himself is probably the most striking example. His masterpieces, so called from their being attempts to imitate the style of the old masters, have perhaps been overpraised. Goltzius brought to an unprecedented level the use of the "swelling line", where the burin is manipulated to make lines thicker or thinner to create a tonal effect from a distance. He also was a pioneer of "dot and lozenge" technique, where dots are placed in the middle of lozenge shaped spaces created by cross-hatching to further refine tonal shading. A self portraitHollstein credits 388 prints to him, with a further 574 by other printmakers after his designs. In his command of the burin Goltzius is said to rival that of Durer's; but his technical skill is not equally aided by higher artistic qualities. Even, however, his eccentricities and extravagances are greatly counterbalanced by the beauty and freedom of his execution. He made engravings of Bartholomeus Spranger's paintings, thus increasing the fame of the latter - and his own. Goltzius began painting at the age of forty-two; some of his paintings can be found in the imperial collection at Vienna. He also executed a few chiaroscuro woodcuts. He was the stepfather of engraver Jacob Matham.
Caillebotte, Gustave
French Impressionist Painter, 1848-1894 .French painter and collector. Caillebotte's parents, of Norman descent, were wealthy members of the Parisian upper middle class, and his paintings often evoke his family background. After studying classics at the Lyc?e Louis Le Grand, he obtained a law degree in 1870, and during the Franco-Prussian War he was drafted into the Seine Garde Mobile (1870-71). He joined L?on Bonnat's studio in 1872 and passed the entrance examination for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts on 18 March 1873. The records of the Ecole make no mention of his work there, and his attendance seems to have been short-lived. He was very soon attracted by the innovative experiments, against academic teaching, of the young rebels who were to become known as the Impressionists. In 1874 Edgar Degas, whom Caillebotte had met at the house of their mutual friend Giuseppe de Nittis, asked him to take part in the First Impressionist Exhibition at the Nadar Gallery in the Boulevard des Capucines in Paris. However, it was only at the time of their second exhibition in April 1876 that, at Auguste Renoir's invitation, Caillebotte joined the Impressionist group. From then on he was one of the most regular participants in their exhibitions (1877, 1879, 1880, 1882). He organized the show of 1877 and made great efforts to restore the cohesion of the group by persuading Claude Monet to exhibit in 1879.
Sir William Beechey
1753-1839 British English painter. He was trained as a lawyer before entering the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1772. He is thought to have studied under Johan Zoffany, and his earliest surviving portraits are small-scale full-lengths and conversation pieces in Zoffanys manner (e.g. The Custance Conversation Piece, c. 1786; priv. col.). Beechey first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1776. In 1782 he moved to Norwich, where he gained several commissions, but he was back in London by 1787. In 1789 he exhibited a portrait of John Douglas, Bishop of Carlisle (London, Lambeth Pal.) that is remarkable for its facility of handling. Beechey would occasionally paint similarly inspired works, but his career is marked by a succession of unflamboyant but competent portraits in the tradition of Joshua Reynolds.






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