Here are some famous Mary Cassatt quotes by the American Impressionist painter.
Who was Mary Cassatt?
Mary Cassatt was an American painter and printmaker who lived from 1844 to 1926. She is celebrated as one of the leading figures of the Impressionist movement and is renowned for her insightful and intimate portrayals of women and children. Cassatt’s contributions to art history extend beyond her artistic accomplishments, as she played a pivotal role in introducing Impressionism to the United States.
Born into a wealthy family in Pennsylvania, Cassatt initially pursued her artistic training in Philadelphia and later traveled to Europe to further her studies. She settled in Paris, where she immersed herself in the vibrant art scene of the late 19th century. It was during this time that she encountered the works of the Impressionists, such as Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, and Berthe Morisot, who would greatly influence her own artistic style.
Cassatt’s artistic focus centered on the depiction of women and children, often within domestic and everyday scenes. She approached her subjects with empathy, capturing their intimate moments and emotions with sensitivity and authenticity. Her paintings and prints showcased the bonds between mothers and children, as well as the daily activities and social interactions of women.
Notably, Cassatt’s artistic style incorporated elements of both Impressionism and Realism. While she embraced the loose brushwork, vibrant colors, and emphasis on capturing light characteristic of Impressionism, she also paid careful attention to detail and composition. Her meticulous draftsmanship and a strong sense of design were evident in her works, lending them a sense of structure and solidity.
Cassatt’s works were not only visually compelling but also challenged traditional gender roles and societal expectations. At a time when women artists faced significant barriers and were often confined to still-life or portrait painting, Cassatt boldly tackled subjects that were considered unconventional for women. Her portrayals of women engaged in leisure activities, attending the theater, or participating in intellectual pursuits challenged the limited roles assigned to women in society.
In addition to her artistic achievements, Cassatt played a vital role in promoting Impressionism in the United States. She actively encouraged American collectors to acquire works by the French Impressionists, fostering an appreciation for this revolutionary artistic movement. Cassatt herself exhibited with the Impressionists in Paris and became the only American artist to be officially associated with the group.
Cassatt’s contributions to the art world were widely recognized during her lifetime. She received critical acclaim and achieved commercial success, with her works being acquired by prestigious collectors and exhibited in major exhibitions. Her role as a prominent female artist also opened doors for other women in the art world, inspiring future generations of artists.
Mary Cassatt’s legacy extends beyond her lifetime. Her paintings and prints continue to be celebrated for their technical brilliance, emotional depth, and progressive portrayal of women. Her influence on the development of Impressionism and her advocacy for women artists have secured her a lasting place in art history.
Mary Cassatt was a pioneering American artist who made significant contributions to the Impressionist movement. Through her insightful and intimate portrayals of women and children, she challenged societal norms and expanded the possibilities for women artists. Cassatt’s legacy as an accomplished painter and her role in promoting Impressionism cement her status as a prominent figure in art history. Her works continue to captivate audiences and inspire generations of artists.
Mary Cassatt’s Contribution to Art History
Mary Cassatt’s contribution to art history is significant and multifaceted. As a pioneering American artist and an influential figure in the Impressionist movement, Cassatt made important strides in challenging artistic norms, promoting women artists, and redefining the representation of women and children in art.
Cassatt’s embrace of Impressionism played a crucial role in introducing this groundbreaking artistic movement to the United States. After settling in Paris, she immersed herself in the vibrant art scene and became acquainted with prominent Impressionist artists such as Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet. Inspired by their innovative approaches to capturing light, color, and everyday life, Cassatt adopted the principles of Impressionism into her own work.
One of Cassatt’s primary contributions was her insightful and intimate portrayal of women and children. Her paintings and prints often depicted domestic scenes, capturing the tenderness and nuances of familial relationships. Cassatt’s focus on women as active participants in social and intellectual activities challenged the prevailing conventions of the time, which often relegated women to passive roles.
Cassatt’s treatment of women and children was characterized by empathy, sensitivity, and a deep understanding of the human experience. Her artworks conveyed the emotional connections between mothers and children, as well as the joys and challenges of everyday life. Through her depictions, she brought visibility to the private world of women, celebrating their strength and agency.
Technically, Cassatt’s art was marked by a skillful combination of Impressionist techniques and her own unique style. She employed loose brushwork, vibrant colors, and a keen sense of capturing the play of light and shadow. Simultaneously, she maintained a strong emphasis on composition, form, and detail, which set her work apart from her fellow Impressionists. This fusion of techniques resulted in works that were visually stunning and conceptually rich.
Beyond her artistic achievements, Cassatt played a crucial role in promoting women artists and challenging the gender biases of the art world. She actively participated in exhibitions, both in Europe and the United States, and became a vocal advocate for women’s artistic capabilities. Cassatt’s success and recognition as a prominent female artist opened doors for other women, paving the way for greater inclusion and opportunities in the arts.
Furthermore, Cassatt’s determination to bring Impressionist works to the United States helped cultivate an appreciation for this groundbreaking movement in her home country. Through her connections and influence, she facilitated the acquisition of Impressionist artworks by American collectors and galleries, ensuring their place in the burgeoning American art scene.
Mary Cassatt’s impact on art history is enduring. Her contributions to the Impressionist movement, her insightful portrayal of women and children, and her advocacy for women artists continue to resonate today. Her work challenged traditional artistic norms, expanded the possibilities for women in the arts, and helped redefine the representation of women in art. Cassatt’s legacy inspires artists and art enthusiasts, offering a profound example of talent, determination, and the power of art to challenge and transform society.
Mary Cassatt’s contribution to art history is significant and far-reaching. Her role in introducing Impressionism to the United States, her insightful portrayal of women and children, and her advocacy for women artists have left an indelible mark on the art world. Cassatt’s art continues to captivate audiences, challenging conventions and inspiring generations of artists. She remains an important figure in the narrative of art history, pushing boundaries and championing the power of artistic expression.
Famous Mary Cassatt Quotes
- “I think that if you shake the tree, you ought to be around when the fruit falls to pick it up”
- “Sometimes it made him [Degas] furious that he could not find a chink in my armor, and there would be months when we just could not see each other, and then something I painted would bring us together again”
- “Women should be someone and not something”
- “There are two ways for a painter: the broad and easy one or the narrow and hard one”
- “There’s only one thing in life for a woman; it’s to be a mother…. A woman artist must be … capable of making primary sacrifices”
- “Acceptance, under someone else’s terms, is worse than rejection”
- “I have had a joy from which no one can rob me — I have been able to touch some people with my art”
- “It changed my life. I saw art then as I wanted to see it”
- “If painting is no longer needed, it seems a pity that some of us are born into the world with such a passion for line and color”
- “The first sight of Degas’ pictures was the turning point of my artistic life”
- “I hated conventional art. I began to live”
- “At some future time I shall see New York the artist’s ground. I think you will create an American School”
- “I have touched with a sense of art some people – they felt the love and the life. Can you offer me anything to compare that to the joy for an artist?”
- “It is as well not to have too great an admiration for your master’s work. You will be in less danger of imitating him”
- “Americans have a way of thinking work is nothing. Come out and play they say”
- “Cezanne is one of the most liberal artists I have ever seen. He prefaces every remark with Pour moi it is so and so, but he grants that everyone may be as honest and as true to nature from their convictions; he doesn’t believe that everyone should see alike”
- “Most women paint as though they are trimming hats. Not you”
- “I used to go and flatten my nose against that window and absorb all I could of his art. It changed my life. I saw art then as I wanted to see it”
- “I had already recognized who were my true masters. I admired Manet, Courbet and Degas. I hated conventional art – I began to live”
- “Why do people so love to wander? I think the civilized parts of the world will suffice for me in the future”
- “I have not done what I wanted to, but I tried to make a good fight”
World will suffice for me in the future”
- “I am independent! I can live alone and I love to work”
- “American women have been spoiled, treated and indulged like children; they must wake up to their duties”