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 :. | Concert | Lydia at the Tapestry Loom | Summertime | A Woman and a Girl Driving | Reading |
Related Artists:Edwaert Collier
Evert Collier was born about 1640 in Breda, Noord-Brabant, and died in 1708. He is believed to have trained in Haarlem, as his earliest paintings show the influence of Pieter Claesz and Vincent Laurensz van der Vinne. By 1667, he had moved to Leiden, where he became a member of the Guild of St. Luke in 1673. He moved to Amsterdam by 1686 and to London in 1693. He was buried September 8, 1708 at St. James, Piccadilly.
The Denver Art Museum, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the National Portrait Gallery (United Kingdom), the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) and the Tate (London) are among the public collections having paintings by Evert Collier.Christian Rohlfs
German Painter, 1849-1938
German painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Kunstschule in Weimar (1870). Prolonged illness forced him to interrupt his studies, which he resumed in 1874 under Ferdinand Schauss (1832-1916) and Alexandre Struys (1852-1941). Through visits to Paris in the 1870s, he came into contact with the art of the Barbizon school, painting en plein-air on his return to Weimar. Under the influence of Struys he painted figurative works, such as Roman Builders (1879; Menster, Westfel. Landesmus.), and nudes in the tradition of academically enlightened Realism. In 1881 Rohlfs worked in a studio under Max Thedy (1858-1924). From c. 1883 he painted mainly landscapes with the approval of Ludwig von Gleichen-Russwurm (1836-1901), who was studying with Theodor Hagen (1842-1919), and was influenced in an indirect way by Albert Brendel (1827-95), who had taught at Weimar from 1875. He often chose formats that were unusually large for landscape paintings in this period, presenting landscape in a similar way to history painting. Atmosphere and light played an important role even in these early pictures, for example Sawmill at Ehringsdorf on the Ilm (930x780 mm, 1883; Weimar, Schlossmus.). From 1884 he worked as an independent painter. After 1885 colour became increasingly important for its own sake; light and shade were suggested purely by colour, which was applied in impasto spots and brushstrokes to create chiaroscuro values that determined the form, for example Wild Garden near Weimar (1888; Weimar, Schlossmus.). By the end of the 1880s he had developed an independent style parallel to Impressionist painting. When he saw works by Monet exhibited in Weimar in 1897, these corroborated his own efforts.Juan Sanchez-Cotan
S??nchez Cot??n was born in the town of Orgaz, near Toledo. He was a friend and perhaps pupil of Blas de Prado, an artist famous for his still lifes whose mannerist style with touches of realism, the disciple developed further. Cot??n began by painting altar pieces and religious works. For approximately twenty years, he pursued a successful career in Toledo as an artist, patronized by the city??s aristocracy, painting religious scenes, portraits and still lifes. These paintings found a receptive audience among the educated intellectuals of Toledo society. S??nchez Cot??n executed his notable still lifes around the turn of the seventeenth century, before the end of his secular life. An example (seen above) is Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber (1602, in the San Diego Museum of Art).
On August 10, 1603, Juan Sanchez Cotan, then in his forties, closed up his workshop at Toledo to renounce the world and enter the Carthusian monastery Santa Maria de El Paular. He continued his career painting religious works with singular mysticism. In 1612 he was sent to the Granada Charterhouse, he decided to become a monk, and in the following year he entered the Carthusian monastery at Granada as a laybrother. The reasons for this are not clear, though such action was not unusual in Cot??n??s day.
Cotan was a prolific religious painter whose work, carried out exclusively for his monastery, reached its peak about 1617 in the cycle of eight great narrative paintings which he painted for the cloister of the Granada Monastery. These depict the foundation of the order of St. Bruno, and the prosecution of the monks in England by the Protestants.
Although the painter??s religious works have an archaic air, they also reveal a keen interest in the treatment of light and volumes, and in some respect are comparable with certain works by the Italian Luca Cambiaso whom Cotan knew at the Escorial. While Cotan's religious works are unexceptional, as a still-life painter he ranks with the great names of European painting.
In spite of his retreat from the world, Cotan??s influence remained strong. His concern with the relationships among objects and with achieving the illusion of reality through the use of light and shadow was a major influence on the work of later Spanish painters such as Juan van der Hamen, Felipe Ramirez, the brothers Vincenzo and Bartolomeo Carducci and, notably, Francisco de Zurbaran. Sanchez Cotan ended his days universally loved and regarded as a saint. He died in 1627 in Granada.