Mary Cassatt - Madame and Her Maid 1893-1897

Mary Cassatt - Girl with a Banjo 1893-1894 Mary Cassatt - The Banjo Lesson 1893-1894 Mary Cassatt - The Boating Party 1893-1894 Mary Cassatt - Madame and Her Maid 1893-1897 Mary Cassatt - Feeding the Ducks 1894 Mary Cassatt - In the park 1894 Mary Cassatt - Marie Therese Gaillard 1894
Mary Cassatt - Madame and Her Maid 1893-1897

Madame and Her Maid 1893-1897
52x74cm pastel on paper
Private Collection
The image is only being used for informational and educational purposes

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From Sotheby’s:
Like Degas, Cassatt became increasingly preoccupied with the pastel medium and by the 1890s it had become her primary means of expression. Pastel allowed Cassatt to reveal her accomplished draftsmanship while displaying a rich layering of color and tone, as demonstrated in Madame and Her Maid, which she executed circa 1893-97. In her essay on the artist’s methods during the 1890s, Harriet K. Stratis observes, “Cassatt’s pastels had begun to display new exuberance and to reveal more of her working process. …Over the years that had intervened since Cassatt’s early collaboration with Degas, two opposing tendencies emerged in her pastel technique. While she would always retain a high degree of finish in her sitters’ faces, she abandoned this treatment in their garments and surroundings. Certainly this attachment to physiognomic detail was driven in part by her desire as a portraitist to render an accurate likeness” (Mary Cassatt: Modern Woman, New York, 1998, pp. 217-19). The carefully defined representation of the figures’ faces in Madame and Her Maid contrasts with the expressive application of pigment Cassatt uses in the background of the composition. This latter technique imbues the work with an air of immediacy and spontaneity that suggests it was conceived from direct observation.