Cassatt began using pastel in the 1870s. Her earliest works display a sophistication unusual in a beginner; her colors were pure and unmuddied, the line certain, and compositions complex. Two opposing tendencies emerged in her mature pastel technique: while she always retained a high degree of finish in her sitters’ faces, she allowed herself great freedom in rendering their garments and surroundings. Such a dichotomy is evident in this portrait of a mother and her children. Cassatt commented that pastel was “the most satisfactory medium for [portraying] children.” The spontaneitythat pastel allowed was an advantage when drawing children who could not sit still for long periods of time.
CMA, June 23 - October 4, 1937: "Exhibition of American Painting from 1860 until Today," cat. no. 26, p. 15.
Chicago, IL, The Art Institute of Chicago, January 14-February 25, 1954: Sargent, Whistler and Mary Cassatt, cat. no. 26, repr. p. 34.
CMA, October 2-November 4, 1956: Art: The International Language, no cat.
Chicago, IL, The Art Institute of Chicago, July 1-September 5, 1966: Mary Cassatt
CMA, July 21-October 18, 1987: Fraternite: Artistic Relations between France and America, no cat.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (8/27/00 - 10/17/00); NY, NY: The Pierpont Morgan Library (5/24/01- 8/19/01); Museum of Fine Arts Houston (10/14/01 - 1/6/02); "Master Drawings from The Cleveland Museum of Art"
CMA, November 1, 1993-January 2, 1994: Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot, no cat.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (06/21/2005 - 09/11/2005); "CMA Highlights"
CMA (organizer). Cleveland Museum of Art, Oct. 21, 2007- January 13, 2008: "Modern Masters from the Cleveland Museum of Art"
The Cleveland Museum of Art (10/14/2012 - 01/20/2013); "Mary Cassatt"
The Cleveland Museum of Art (10/04/2012 - 01/20/2013); "Mary Cassatt and the Feminine Ideal in Nineteeth-Century Paris"
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