Author: Getlein, Frank
Brand: Abbeville Press
Edition: Later Printing
- Used Book in Good Condition
Number Of Pages: 156
Release Date: 01-11-1980
Part Number: 73col.ill.
Details: Product Description
Mary Cassatt's paintings and prints have long been treasured as some of the finest examples of Impressionist art. A rebel by the Victorian standards of her time, Mary Cassatt moved from the art schools of staid Philadelphia to the boulevards of Paris, where the young Impressionist movement was flourishing. Degas, her friend and mentor, encouraged her involvement in the new art movement. Mary Cassatt's paintings and prints have long been treasured as some of the finest examples of Impressionist art. A rebel by the Victorian standards of her time, Mary Cassatt moved from the art schools of staid Philadelphia to the boulevards of Paris, where the young Impressionist movement was flourishing. Degas, her friend and mentor, encouraged her involvement in the new art movement.
Cassatt's luminous, observant, and innovative works-chiefly interiors with women and children-helped define Impressionism and have been compared to Raphael's paintings for their beauty and dignity. Frank Getlein, noted art critic and historian, has selected 72 of Cassatt's finest works, each reproduced here in full color. His accompanying text relates the intimate details of her life to her paintings while clearly defining her relation to fellow artists and her place in modern art.
The publication of this book marks the first time that so many of Cassatt's paintings and prints, some rarely seen by American audiences, have been made available at a popular price.
About the Author
Frank Getlein is a noted art critic and historian.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
One of the major developments in American society over the last two decades has been the emergence of more and more women who demand and attain economic and political parity with men.
Mary Cassatt would have approved enthusiastically of the women’s movement. She herself became liberated at a time when many people believed, or pretended to believe, that a liberated woman was the same as a loose woman. Cassatt left her home in well-off Philadelphia and went to Paris, seen by many Americans as the capital of sin whatever its position might be in art. She proclaimed herself an independent, in art as in life. She never married, lived chiefly for her work, and from an early stage supported herself as a professional painter by selling the paintings she created.
Mary Cassatt believed deeply in what is today called women’s liberation. She contributed to the movement for women’s suffrage whenever she was asked, and was particularly proud, and went to considerable trouble, to paint a mural for the Women’s Building at the Chicago Exposition celebrating the four-hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America. (Unfortunately, that work, the largest she ever executed, disappeared in the confusion of closing down the Exposition. It has never been seen since and must reasonably be assumed to have been destroyed.)
Mary Cassatt’s view on women’s liberation and and her own thoroughgoing practice of it are intrinsic to an understanding of her work, unlike, for example, Picasso’s Communism, which meant absolutely nothing to his art, or the Fascism professed by some of the Italian Futurists, which had only the most superficial connection to their work. But Cassatt’s feminism in thought and politics corresponds precisely to the feminism in her work. She painted men, occasionally, mostly members of her family. She did no still lifes and no landscapes except as incidental to her figure painting. The figures she usually painted were women and children, even infants in their mother’s arms.
Some contemporary feminist theory precludes having babies and raising children for the truly liberated woman. That view was certainly not widely practiced during Mary Cassatt’s lifetime. She lived from 1844 to 1926, and in those eight decades, whether in Pittsburgh, her birthplace; Philadelphia, where she came as a child; or in Paris, where she spent her working life, Cassat
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