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Cassatt, Mary or Mary Stevensonlocked

Extract

American, 19th–20th century, female.

Active in France.

Born 22 May 1844, in Allegheny, near Pittsburgh; died 14 June 1926, in Beaufresne Château, Mesnil-Théribus, France.

Painter (gouache), watercolourist, pastellist, engraver, draughtswoman. Portraits, genre scenes, landscapes.

In 1851, Mary Cassatt went to Europe with her parents and remained there for five years. After studying in Philadelphia from 1861 to 1865 she returned to Europe. She visited Parma, where she studied the work of Antonio da Correggio; Spain, where she studied the work of Diego Velázquez; Antwerp; and Holland, where she studied the work of Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Hals. In Parma she studied for eight months under Carlo Raimondi before moving to Paris where, in 1872, she worked at the studio of J. Chaplin. Cassatt also studied under Gérome. She felt an immediate attraction for the Impressionists and was particularly struck by a pastel by Edgar Degas she had seen in a shop window and which became something of an obsession with her. In her words: ‘I used to go and press my face against the glass to absorb as much as I could of his art. It transformed my life. From that moment onwards I saw art in the way I wanted to see it’. Soon after her arrival in Paris she exhibited ...

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