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The Young Girls
Photo credit: Glasgow Museums

The Young Girls c.1885

Mary Cassatt (1844–1926)

Glasgow Museums

(b Allegheny City [now part of Pittsburgh], 22 May 1844; d Château de Beaufresne, Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise, 14 June 1926). American painter and printmaker, active mainly in France, where she enjoyed a highly successful career (she came from a prosperous family but also made a good deal of money from her work). She settled in Paris in 1874 (following earlier studies there) and became friendly particularly with Degas. He invited her to exhibit with the Impressionists and she took part in four of their eight group shows (1879, 1880, 1881, 1886). Cassatt specialized in everyday life scenes, her favourite theme being a mother with her child or children (although she never married). In the 1880s her work was thoroughly Impressionist in style, but from about 1890 her forms became more solid and firmly outlined; comparing her with Berthe Morisot (the other leading woman Impressionist), Gauguin said, ‘Miss Cassatt has as much charm but more strength.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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