Cassatt, Mary

Cassatt, Mary

biographical name

(born May 22, 1844, Allegheny City, Pa., U.S.—died June 14, 1926, Château de Beaufresne, near Paris, France) U.S. painter and printmaker, active in Paris. She spent her early years traveling in Europe with her wealthy family. After attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1860–65) she later studied in Paris, copying Old Masters. In 1874 Cassatt chose Paris as her permanent residence and established her studio there. She shared with the Impressionists an interest in experiment and in the use of bright colours inspired by the out-of-doors. Edgar Degas became her friend, and at his request she exhibited with the Impressionists. She portrayed scenes of everyday life, particularly images of mothers and children, and was skilled at drawing and printmaking. Some of her best works were executed in pastel. Through her social contacts with wealthy private collectors, she promoted Impressionism in the U.S. and exerted a lasting influence on U.S. taste.

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