(b Allegheny City [now in Pittsburgh], May 22, 1844; d Le Mesnil-Théribus, France, Jun 14, 1926).
American painter and printmaker, active in France. One of the great American expatriates of the later 19th century (along with Sargent and Whistler), Cassatt was an active member of the Impressionist group in Paris and carved out a lasting international reputation for her famous “modern” representations of the mother and child (see fig.). Because of her success, her life and art have been closely examined to gain a better understanding of how gender affects artists during their lifetimes and afterwards in historical perspective.
Daughter of a Pittsburgh broker, Mary Stevenson Cassatt received a cultured upbringing and spent five years abroad as a child (1851–1855). In 1860, at the age of 16, she began classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and in 1865 sailed again for Europe. During the next four years she studied in and around Paris with such notables as Jean-Léon Gérôme...