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Home >> Artists >> Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt’s struggle

A woman painter was nothing short of a deviation in the 18th Century European society Her stint in an Art in Pennsylvania school left her bitter and disillusioned. The slow pace of instruction and the patronizing attitude of the male students and teachers frustrated her to the extent of contemplating dropping out, and subsequntly she did so. She the old masters on her own and she moved to Paris. In Paris she studied with Camille Pissarro. Her first exhibition of paintings for the Paris Salon in 1872 received a mix response. The Salon critics claimed that her colors were too bright and that her portraits were too accurate to be flattering to the subjects.

Mary Cassatt Paintings

Mary Cassatt was known to be quite fond of children. Her nieces and nephews were her world. her belief in Naturalism is mirrored in her portrayals of childhood during the 1880s and 1890s. One can see the influence clearly in her painting “Children on the Shore”, which was exhibited last Impressionist exhibition, in 1886. The painting focuses on the pair of toddlers on seashore, this particular subject was typical of the Impressionistic style, but the firm draftsmanship is distinctly Cassatt. Gustave Geffroy was very impressed with the painting and commented: "[It] has the sharp outline that things and people have on the sand with the background of water and sky. The short arms and the dollish faces let you guess the flesh under a thick laver of suntan."


Mary Cassatt owes much of her artistic style to the concept of Impressionism. Impressionism can be defined as a 19th century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based painters who began publicly exhibiting their art in the 1860s. Impressionist Paintings were charcterized by visible brushstrokes, light colors, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (giving the impression of the passage of time), subject matters which werent out of the ordinary and innovative angles.This style of painting influenced a galaxy of painters, most famous of whom was Vincent Van Gogh.

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