Two Little Sisters is a 1901-1902 painting in the Impressionist style by the leading American painter and printmaker Mary Cassatt. This work is located in a Private Collection.
Analysis of Cassatt’s Two Little Sisters
Two Little Sisters (c. 1902) by Mary Cassatt is a painting showing the faces of two little girls rendered through an Impressionist technique.
The picture belongs to Cassatt’s late period in America when her dedication to the subject of female children picks up a less elaborate and more burnished stride. Her work in this phase carries, therefore, a distinctive sweetness turned towards simplicity.
The two young children figure with only their heads and shoulders in the picture. We notice that they are wearing white dresses, but the dissolution of colors along the edges of the painting deprives us of all contextual detail. We similarly notice a green background, which might situate us in a natural setting.
The dashed-out appearance of the picture is due to it being, in fact, accomplished with quick strokes of the brush. We are likely witnessing a momentary artistic vision that afforded Cassatt enough time to concentrate on only a single aspect and space of the vision: the girls’ juxtaposed faces.
Her interest in this subject is consummated by the girls’ faces, with that impression of innocent curiosity and reserve that they conjure. It is an intentionally unimposing picture, rapt in a perception of the beauty of children.
In terms of its nature as a sketch, Two Little Sisters has few if any peers in the oeuvre of Mary Cassatt. It is also peculiar for the proximity of the subjects’ faces to the eye of the beholder.