MARY CASSATT 1/3 – She was born in Allegheny (Pennsylvania) in 1844 to wealthy family of great culture. She had not focused her attention on landscapes, but on women in their family environment. She, one of the first women who decided to paint, challenging the social conventions of her time, had her own recurring artistic theme: she works for maternity. Trying to paint the intimacy between mother and son, she managed to capture the magic of this union, so special, even though she had never been a mother. Traveling to Europe, she learned French and German. When the family moved to Philadelphia, she decided to enroll at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts to study painting. She abandoned painting courses early, because she was unable to communicate with fellow students and teachers.
MARY CASSATT 2/3 – In 1886, against the will of her father, she moved to Paris to further study the European artists, taking private teachers for her education. Her father decided not to finance her studies anymore. In 1874 she definitively settled in Paris, but her works were not appreciated, because she used too bright colors. In those years the French artistic scene was changing, artists of radical ideas tried to detach themselves from the academic tradition. Impressionists paintings came on the scene. To admire her delightful 1890 painting (Young Woman in a Black and Green Bonnet), you can visit the Princeton University Art Museum http://artmuseum.princeton.edu/
MARY CASSATT 3/3 – In 1877 she is model and lover of Edgar Degas, and her painting is soaked with the psychological introspection of the portrayed characters. She took the habit of bringing an album, for sketching outdoors or theater. She is attracted to the simplicity of Japanese art and the skill, how colors are used and use of bright pastel colors. In 1911 she became ill, but continued to paint. After 1914 she was forced to stop, because she was almost blind. She died in 1926 in Château de Beaufresne, near Paris. “The Child’s Bath”, a canvas oil painting from 1893, is on display in the Art Institute of Chicago http://www.artic.edu/
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