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Mary Cassatt, Degas's American pupil

Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt was born in 1844 in the USA into a wealthy family that allowed her to study for 5 years in Europe, learning German and French and studying music and drawing. In 1855 he met the works of Ingres, Delacroix, Corot, Courbet, Degas and Pissarro. At the age of 15 he began studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Pennsylvania, but disappointed, in 1866 he decided to go to Paris to study the great European painters alone, privately. Classical study at the Louvre was a widespread practice at that time for art students like her and she met many artists. In 1870 he returned home, increasingly determined to make painting his profession, although still opposed by his father. She was commissioned to copy some of Correggio's works that were in Parma, Italy and was happy to leave. After this work, he visited Seville and Madrid and in 1874 decided to settle in France. The women continued to suffer gender prejudices and she initially tried to paint according to the rules of tradition, then criticized it with sarcasm, until the meeting with the Impressionists, at the invitation of Degas, whom she admired deeply. She had many impressionist painters, including Berthe Morisot, and became a friend of her. He integrated with the Impressionist group and learned from Degas the use of pastels and the etching technique, considerably improving his technique in drawing. Until 1886 he exhibited his Impressionist works together with the group and was an active part of it, also organizing the first Impressionist exhibition in the USA. In the following years his style changed, experimented with new techniques and also exhibited in the New York Galleries.

Her canvases, which showed mothers with their sons, were the ones that finally gave her popularity; in them she managed to express a great sweetness without excessive sentimentality. After 1900 he devoted himself almost entirely to these portraits, which may recall the Madonnas with Child of the Italian Renaissance. The previous decade, however, was the most creative for the artist, who nevertheless remained in contact with several French impressionist colleagues. She continued to paint until 1914, when, almost blind, she was forced to stop. Her social commitment to women's rights continued actively in the following years. Mary Cassat died near Paris in 1926.


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Little girl in a blue armchair

Mary Cassat is an unconventional and rebel American painter, she loves to paint scenes of daily life of the women of her time, giving particular...

The Tea

This work by Mary Cassatt dates back to about 1880 and is kept at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. As it often happens in the paintings of the...

Sara holding a Cat

The original work by Mary Cassatt is dated around 1908 and is part of a private collection. Mary Cassatt is a friend, model and lover of Egdar...

Baby in Dark Blue Suit, Looking over His Mother's Shoulder

The original work by Mary Cassatt is dated around 1889 and is preserved at the Cincinnati Art Museum, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mary Cassatt...