Mary Cassatt was an American painter who was active in France for most of her career. Her artistry predominantly focused on women and children. She enjoyed depicting women in their roles as mothers and caregivers for children.
Cassatt has been described as one of “les trois grandes dames” (the three great ladies) of Impressionism. Being the only American in the Impressionist circle, she encouraged the spread of the movement in the US. Cassatt’s famous paintings display her talent and mastery of Impressionism with her pastel palettes and loose brushstrokes.
Her soft and brilliant craftsmanship has left several iconic paintings to her credit that can be used as part of a home’s interior decor. In this article, we look at some High End Custom Art that will adorn your room.
About Mary Cassatt
Born on May 22, 1844, in Pennsylvania, USA, Mary Stevenson Cassatt was 1 of 7 children born to Robert Simpson Cassat and Katherine Kelso Johnston. She grew up in privileged circumstances that allowed her to travel and learn foreign languages.
She relocated to Paris in 1866 to begin her artistic career, but because females were not allowed in French art schools, she studied privately under art masters. She also obtained a permit from the Louvre to work as a copyist, recreating the famous works of old masters.
In 1874, she acquired a studio where several famous Mary Cassatt paintings, mostly depicting contemporary women and children, were created. Then, in 1877, she began her Impressionist journey following an invitation from Impressionist artist Edgar Degas.
The Sisters 1885
This oil-on-canvas painting by American painter Mary Cassatt is a portrait painting of two little girls, presumably sisters going by the artwork’s title. The painting currently resides at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland.
The little ladies are both dressed in white with blue details running along with their dresses as they fix their gaze on something or someone that is out of frame. The girl on the left has her arm around her sister’s neck as the latter leans towards her, suggesting that she may be older.
The girls are painted on a rough background of yellow and green brushstrokes that some believe to be a loose depiction of grass. Others have suggested that the background is an abstract that doesn’t represent anything in particular.
In the Park
This 1894 oil painting is a colorful depiction of a woman and a little girl at a public park. The duo, presumed to be mother and child, is seated on a bench with the mother looking down at the child in her lap. The little blonde girl has her eyes fixed on something outside the frame as the left sleeve of her vibrant red dress falls off her shoulder.
The subjects have been placed in a beautiful landscape with the flower bush behind them, beautifying their background with its blooming flora. Cassatt has also painted green grass around them, with some parts turning yellow, perhaps suggesting that autumn isn’t far away. Some rocks can also be spotted at the top left corner of the painting.
Painter Mary Cassatt’s style has inspired several other artists, particularly women, who have followed in her footsteps of exhibiting women in non-erotic forms. If you would like this colorful piece adorning the walls of your room and bringing that vibrant summer warmth, consider getting a reproduction painted.
Created circa 1890 – 91, this painting is another of Cassatt’s many mother and child paintings. It was created as part of an incredible series of 10 prints for the Galerie Durand-Ruel exhibition in Paris.
The Japanese Ukiyo-e style had inspired Cassatt, so she set out to imitate the style with a mix of westernization. The print depicts a woman holding her nude baby, suggesting it may be after the baby’s bath time.
The forms and elements of the painting have been flattened to mimic the Japanese style. If you’re looking for a simple and oriental print for your space, this could be the perfect piece.
In the Loge
During the late 1800s, Pari was taken over by several forms of theater entertainment. It was a favored pastime for the Parisian socialites who enjoyed being seen while watching others. An Impressionist at the time, Cassatt took advantage of this by producing this painting in 1878.
The painting is one of Cassatt’s most notable works. It depicts a woman dressed in black at the Garnier Opera House. The subject is watching the performance through opera glasses while a male audience member is also watching her.
The painting throws a jab at prying, brilliantly offering three sets of watchers; the lady, the man, and the viewer watching them both. It was the first of her paintings to be exhibited in the US and is currently on showcase at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA.
Sara Holding A Cat
Produced circa 1907 – 08, this beautiful oil painting depicts little Sara and her ginger kitten. The little girl is dressed in pink with a matching pink bow in her blonde hair. Her rosy cheeks and thin ruby lips compliment her outfit.
The painting was produced during Cassatt’s late period, defined by her many portraits of children. It is astonishing that although she was advanced in age when she painted it, she still maintained impeccable skill.
The painting illustrates Sara’s bond with her feline friend; she gazes at it lovingly while it rests in her arms. It sold for about $2.5 million at an auction in 2012.
Though her technique evolved into different art styles during her career, she maintained the simple pleasures her work is characterized by. So if you’re decorating your space and need an array of soft and straightforward paintings to choose from, you should begin with Cassatt’s works. Her simple and calming scenes of everyday living are worth investing in your decor and to study Mary Cassatt’s drawings.