Born into the male dominated world of the nineteenth century, middle-class Pennsylvania society, Mary Cassatt became a feminist and turned what was a lady's accomplishment into a profession becoming a radical painter, working in Paris and exhibiting with the Impressionists. Degas, Manet, Gauguin and Pissaro, amongst others, knew and admired her work, and yet, since her death in 1926, Cassatt has received little critical acclaim, and her importance, both personally as an individual artist and historically within the evolution of the Impressionist movement, has largely been obscured. The efforts of the feminist movement in the last decade, however, have stimulated long-deserved public and critical interest in Mary Cassatt. Griselda Pollock examines the reasons for the unjust neglect of one of America's outstanding artistic talents. She gauges the wide variety of influences which shaped her career, from her commitment to her early oils and pastels and her study of the techniques of the Old Masters, her exploration of modernist ideas to her later interest in the methods of Japanese print-making. Despite the tremendous diversity of her sources, Cassatt pursued one theme - the depiction of women in all phases of their lives - defending the portrayal of maternity and womanhood from the charges of sentimentality. Pollock argues that through her oeuvre, Cassatt, a woman painting women, reworked with increasing power and insight the traditional iconography of woman as Madonna, as Venus and as Eve, questioning its basic assumptions and transforming women from objects to be looked at to people to be understood.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - relizabeth - LibraryThing
Great book with a different analysis of her work which is from a feminist perspective. Discusses the place of women in society in the late 19th century which Cassatt explores through her images of women and children. Read full review
Mary CassattUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
"As one of the country's greatest artists Mary Cassatt has entered the ranks of American heroes,'' Mathews concludes after 15 years' research. The shortness of the volume (and the plentitude of ... Read full review