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Mary Cassatt - American Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Mary Cassatt (1845 - 1926)

Mary Cassatt born into an affluent Philadelphia family. She studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art from 1861 to 1864 before moving to Europe to continue her training. She finally settled in Paris where she was a student of Edgar Degas who taught her the concepts of Impressionism. Her domestic mother and child portraits were often done in intaglio printmaking or lithography, although her pastels and oils are the considered the most advanced of all her work. An American painter and printmaker born in 1845 in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, Mary Cassatt spent 5 years as a child in Paris. After studying at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1865-1866) she returned to paint in Italy. She exhibited with the Impressionists between 1877-1886. Cassatt admired the Realist Courbet and the Impressionist Manet but was mainly influenced by her friend Degas, who also represented her in his own scenes. As a wealthy expatriate, she had the means to devote herself to her art and used her domestic life as subject matter. She painted fashionable women who were conversing, having tea, and at outings with friends and their children. Her pictures are characterized by a spontaneity and freshness of vision which prevails in the asymmetrical and unposed figures of her oil paintings. Her drawings and prints show a personal mastery of linearism and perspective that owed much to Degas and Oriental Art. She died in 1926 in France. Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children.

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