“I am independent! I can live and I love to work.”
“Women should be someone and not something.”
“I think that if you shake the tree, you ought to be around when the fruit falls to pick it up.”
Born in Pennsylvania, Cassatt lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists.
“He was such a professor that he could have taught stones to draw correctly.”
“The first sight of Degas’ pictures was the turning point of my artistic life.”
Mary Cassatt felt that modern life should be recorded in a lively modern style. She focused on domestic scenes: mothers and children, scrubwomen, village girls, seascapes, gardens, cats, and family life. She sought to capture the overall impression of a scene through effects created by using light and color in diverse ways. Cassatt liked to work outside, observing nature directly and record fleeting atmospheric effects with his brush.
She believed that light was inseparable from the object it illuminated, so to capture the light at a precise moment, she worked from direct observation. Cassatt executed this emotional style with bold strokes and graceful applications of color. Over time she became less interested in external reality, and more in the spiritual qualities of her subjects.
In the early part of her career Cassette’s art was not taken very seriously – at the time Impressionism was loathed by most art critics and public alike, as outrageous and unseemly and revolutionary.
excerpted from www.historyofpainters.com/cassatt.htm