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Cassatt A Retrospective

Mathews, Nancy Mowll & Mary Cassatt

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ISBN 10: 088363256X / ISBN 13: 9780883632567
Published by Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, 1996
Condition: NF Hardcover
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About this Item

NF in a VG+ DJ, slight rub to DJ back panel near flap edge. ; Great work, well reserached, with Bibliographical Index, Chronology, Genealogy. ; 8vo; 357 p. Bookseller Inventory # 36416

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Cassatt A Retrospective

Publisher: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: NF

Dust Jacket Condition: VG+

Edition: First Edition

About this title


In an era when few American women thought seriously about pursuing careers outside of marriage and motherhood, Mary Cassatt's ambition and professional independence were noteworthy and unique. Cassatt: A Retrospective traces the life of this great American artist through the correspondence and accomplishments she maintained over a lifetime. Over 100 articles and documents - letters to and from friends and family members as well as reviews and commentaries on her work and associations - provide as intimate a perspective of this remarkable woman as one is likely to find anywhere.
The daughter of a prominent Pennsylvania businessman, Cassatt began her early training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia where she formed relationships and made acquaintances that would last her entire life. Carefully selected letters with fascinating descriptions of social events, professional meetings, meals, and homelife abroad span several decades to reveal Cassatt's thoughts and activities: her move to Paris to further her training; her thrill and uncertainty as her work is noticed by instructors and juries; her at once stormy and reverential friendship with Edgar Degas; and the self-sufficiency that emerges with her personal and professional maturity. Writings and reminiscences by many of her contemporaries including Ambroise Vollard, J. K. Huysmans, Camille Pissarro, Felix Feneon, American collector Louisine Havemeyer, and Edgar Degas provide additional insight into the world and work of Mary Cassatt.
Cassatt was only thirty-three when she was invited to exhibit with the French Impressionists, and she remained the only American truly associated with this group. Unlike her fellow Impressionists, she was primarily a figure painter; however, she demonstrated the same qualities of color and light that made this radical new movement so recognizable. Though she never married, Cassatt's finest and most distinctive trait is the sensitivity and honesty with which she depicted mothers and children, her favorite subject matter. Presented here are more than 200 illustrations (118 in color) of Cassatt's greatest and lesser-known works - paintings, pastels, and etchings. Cassatt's choice of profession and marital status made her a modern woman by Victorian standards, but her paintings reveal a belief in the sacredness of a mother's love and an appreciation for women's traditional roles.

From Publishers Weekly:

The lingering image of American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt as a genteel lady of leisure, a celebrator of upper-class refinement and comfort whose style was largely derivative of Degas is demolished in this stunning retrospective combining letters, reminiscences, critical essays, articles and memoirs by her contemporaries with 118 full-page color plates plus 102 black-and-white photographs. Born in 1844 to a prominent Pittsburgh family, dynamic, charismatic Cassatt, who settled in Paris in 1874, was a hardworking, lonely idealist who lived in her art, an outspoken feminist and an uncompromising fighter for artistic freedom and experimentation. Her popular images of mothers and children radiate maternal tenderness but also bristle with humor and penetrating irony. Cassatt, who died nearly blind at the age of 82, invented an emotional lyricism revealed through faces, gestures and movements. Mathews, a curator at the Williams College Museum of Art and biographer of Cassatt, has assembled a vivid, composite portrait of the artist and her circle.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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