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Drypoint and aquatint
Sheet: 42.7 x 31.4 cm (16 13/16 x 12 3/8 in.); Platemark: 37.6 x 25.5 cm (14 13/16 x 10 1/16 in.)
Bequest of Charles T. Brooks 1941.72
Catalogue raisonné: Mathews & Shapiro 9, Breeskin 147
State: M & S: VI/VII, B: between V and VI/VI
Cassatt approached the suite of ten color prints as an oil painter would-scraping off drypoint and aquatint areas on the plate if they did not please her, and varying the palette of each impression. The process was a laborious one-she worked out the design in drypoint on one plate, then transferred it to one or two other plates that were used for aquatint. Using commercial printer's ink, she mixed the colors herself and "painted" the plate before each impression, using a technique known as à la poupée. Working in this way, she could achieve different effects in each impression, making each print unique. The Fitting is an excellent example of Cassatt's different color combinations. For the Impressionists, fashion represented the transience, spectacle, and exchange of commodities in the bustling city of Paris. Cassatt-who herself loved luxurious clothes-used fashion in her art as a symbol of modernity, class, and feminine beauty. The graceful forms of her figures, the embodiment of Parisian chic, were not nymphs or goddesses, but entirely modern women.
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