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The Tender Domestic World Of Miss Mary Cassatt

May 2024
1min read


Today Mary Cassatt is usually considered America’s foremost woman painter, but in the nineteenth century most Americans found it hard to take either women painters or impressionists very seriously. Her work won recognition first in France, and France was the country in which she found congenial colleagues—other painters whose work stimulated and excited her. Her subject matter could not have been more traditional or, in fact, more ladylike. She painted mostly portraits of members of her family—partly, to be sure, because they were willing models who charged no fees—and fully a third of her pictures are of mothers and children. Because her brushwork and composition are untraditional and her colors are light and bright, her work was considered avant-garde during her lifetime. Now her paintings seem gentle, loving, quiet, and proper. On the following seven pages AMERICAN HERITAGE presents a portfolio of her beautiful work.

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