Mary Cassatt once commented that pastel was "the most satisfactory medium for [portraying] children," since they could not sit still for long and the medium allowed for rapid sketching.
Mary Cassatt began using pastel in the 1870s and continued to experiment with the medium throughout her career. This drawing depicts a mother and child, one of the artist's preferred subjects. Cassatt typically used the technique seen here, in which she finished her sitters' faces with a high degree of detail but rendered the rest of the composition in a much looser and sketchier style.
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