Mary Cassatt in Paris

February 7, 2010By Heidi EllisonArchive

Paris Update Art Notes


Paris Update Mary Cassatt The-Bath

Mary Cassatt: “The Bath” (1890-91), an etching with drypoint and aquatint.

American Impressionist Mary Cassatt (1824-1926), who lived most of her life in France, is best known for portraying mothers and babies. An exhibition of her engravings and drawings at the Mona Bismarck American Center, “Mary Cassatt in Paris” (through Jan. 20), shows how serious and lacking in sentimentality (almost always) the work of this highly independent woman was. Strongly influenced by her friend and colleague Degas, she became an expert in the use of pastels, some of which are on show here. The influence of Japanese prints on artists working in France at the time is also apparent in her work and marks one of the most accomplished pieces in the show: “The Lamp” (1890-91), in which a seated woman, seen from the back and holding a large fan that echoes the shape of the big lampshade on the table in front of her, looks up to the left and appears to be listening to someone we can’t see. Heidi Ellison


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