by Joan M. Rehlin
Mary Cassatt, 5/22/1844 – 6/14/1926, regarded herself as a figure painter. She was born in the United States (Allegheny City, now part of Pittsburgh), but lived most of her adult life in France. In 1877, Cassatt was invited by Edgar Degas to show her work with a group of artists who called themselves Impressionists. However, as a female, she couldn’t meet with the other, mostly male members of the group in public cafés. She objected to the stereotype of being labeled a “woman artist” and supported women’s suffrage.
Cassatt was most prolific in oils and pastels, and beginning in 1887, she no longer identified herself with any art movement, experimenting instead with a variety of techniques. Regarding the effort and concentration required to create art, Cassatt exclaimed: “The trying and trying again and again and oh, the failures, when you have to begin all over again… After a time, you get keyed up, and you do more in a few weeks than in the preceding weary months. When I am ‘en train,’ it seems easy to paint, but I know very well it is the result of my previous efforts.”
Summertime, oil on canvas, c. 1894, by Mary Cassatt
Welcome to our Art Blog where we occasionally present topics of interest in the fine art world, including featuring artists other than Jim Rehlin. Some of the artwork has been created by long-departed but well-known greats; some, by compelling contemporary artists. All will be pieces we find worthwhile to share with you. If you like any of these, consider sharing the posts forward to your own blogs and other social media.