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
Young Girl at a Window
Young Girl at a Window (1885, Mary Cassatt) housed in the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
ID: 70631

Mary Cassatt Young Girl at a Window
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Mary Cassatt Young Girl at a Window


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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 :. | Woman Bathing | Maternite | The Boating Patty | Summertime | Lydia in a Loge Wearing a Pearl Necklace |
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Makovsky, Konstantin
Russian, 1839-1915 He produced historical and social scenes, as well as being a portrait painter of some renown, although his significance lies more in the role he played as a founder-member of the WANDERERS art society in late 19th-century Russia. He studied first at the Moscow School of Painting and Sculpture (1851-8), which had been co-founded by his father Yegor Ivanovich Makovsky (1800-86), under Mikhail Ivanovich Skotti (1814-61) and Sergey Konstantinovich Zaryanko, then from 1858 to 1863 at the Petersburg Academy of Arts. In 1862 he was awarded a Minor Gold Medal, but the following year, together with 13 other students, Makovsky rebelled against the theme set for the Grand Gold Medal competition and left the Academy with the title of Artist of the Second Degree. In 1863 he joined the Petersburg Artel of artists, the forerunner of the Wanderers and the most potent symbol of the break with classical tradition. The reversal of official policy that this engendered led to his being made an academician in 1867, in 1869 a professor and in 1898 a full member of the Academy. As a member of the Wanderers, Makovsky was most notable for his new subject-matter, namely the common people. However, he split with the society in 1883 and by 1891 had become a member of the newly formed and more Salon-orientated St Petersburg Society of Artists, of which he was subsequently to be president. Makovsky often veered towards sentimentalism, giving his works a cloying pathos, as in his portrait of the Stasov Children (early 1870s) and Children Fleeing the Storm (1872),
Carl Spitzweg
German Painter, 1808-1885 German painter. He trained (1825-8), at his father's insistence, as a pharmacist, by 1829 becoming manager of a pharmacy in the Straubing district of Munich. From 1830 to 1832 he made advanced studies in pharmacy, botany and chemistry at the University of Munich, passing his final examination with distinction. On receiving a large legacy in 1833, which made him financially independent, he decided to become a painter. He had drawn since the age of 15 and had frequented artistic circles since the late 1820s; but he had no professional training as a painter. He learnt much from contacts with young Munich landscape painters such as Eduard Schleich the elder and produced his first oil paintings in 1834. In 1835 he became a member of the Munich Kunstverein but left two years later due to disappointment over the reception of the first version of the Poor Poet (1837; Munich, Neue Pin.; second version 1839; Berlin, Neue N.G.), a scene of gently humorous pathos that has since become his most celebrated work. Spitzweg's decision to leave the Kunstverein, however, was also encouraged by his first successful attempts to sell his paintings independently. In 1839 he travelled to Dalmatia, where he made sketches that he used for many later works on Turkish themes (e.g. the Turkish Coffee House, c. 1860; Munich, Schack-Gal.). From the 1840s he travelled regularly, usually with his close friend, the painter Schleich, both within Bavaria and to Austria and Switzerland and also to the Adriatic coast, especially to Trieste.
Edward Troye
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