Friday, June 12, 2020

"Cruising By"

10 x 10"
oil on panel

You tend to hear more about Claude Monet or Edgar Degas or Auguste Renoir when French Impressionists are named.  The art world, for centuries, was and to a point, still is a male dominate thing.  Back in the 1800's, a daughter was veered towards domestic life or nursing - the rebels became famous writers and poets and a few became painters, like Mary Cassatt.

Cassatt was one of seven children raised in an upper class family.  Her father was a stockbroker, her mother came from money.  They raised their children to be educated with traveling abroad a part of their privileged childhood.  At a young age, she was exposed to artists in Paris and Spain, returned to America and enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts at the age of 15, where females made up 20% of the students.  That only made Cassatt more determined to make art her career.  She went on to study in Paris under extraordinary painters but it wasn't until she was in her mid-30's when she hooked up with the Impressionists, namely Degas, who became a close friend and important influence.

Cassatt is best known for her paintings of mothers and children, including the painting on the left Boating Party, said to be inspired by Boating by Edouard Manet (on the right).  Her painting wasn't well received and she convinced her friend to buy it, where that collection was eventually bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.

Please click here for a larger view.

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