Mary Stevenson Cassatt lived from 1844 to 1926. She was an Impressionistic painter, famous for her beautiful portraits of women and children; works with a particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children (she used members of her own family as subjects). Cassatt was one of the few American artists active in the XIX century French avant-garde. She lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists.
Mary Stevenson Cassatt was born on May 22, 1844 in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, U. S. She played a crucial role in the formation of some of the most important collections of impressionist art in her country, advising wealthy Americans like Potter Palmer.
With loss of sight Mary Cassatt was no longer able to paint after 1914. She decided at an early age not to accept marriage proposals because it would interfere with her career as an artist. She was linked to neither heterosexual nor lesbian relationships, which were not unheard of among French artistic circles of the time. Her outspokenness was uniquely directed at developments in the art world. Her legacy today remains her attention to societal female roles, especially to the intimate family relationships between mothers and children and she is perhaps the best-known female American painter of any period.
I have touched with a sense of art some people – they felt the love and the life. Can you offer me anything to compare to that joy for an artist?
Edgar Degas, Portrait of Mary Cassatt.
- Mary Stevenson Cassatt.
- Mathews, Nancy Mowll, Mary Cassatt: A Life, 1998, Yale University Press.