Young Girl at a Window: Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt: Young Girl at a Window

In American artist Mary Cassatt‘s Young Girl at a Window of 1885 we see the sitter seated in an armchair at an angle to the picture plane. She is dressed formally in white as if about to leave for or having just returned from a social gathering.

The young girl seems rapt in a reverie with an expression tinged with sadness – possibly due to an apprehension of or a reflection on an unnamed event, as she absent-mindedly pets her dog.

Perhaps also, to describe the girl’s state of mind to an event is beside the point, and denies her consciousness independence. The independent feminine is a continuing theme of Cassatt’s. It is the inscrutability of the girl’s mind in this picture that grants it its enduring interest.

Mary Cassatt’s Young Girl at a Window is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

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