Etching, softground etching, and aquatint
Support: Beige (1) wove paper
Sheet: 36.5 x 22.3 cm (14 3/8 x 8 3/4 in.); Platemark: 30.2 x 12.6 cm (11 7/8 x 4 15/16 in.)
The Charles W. Harkness Endowment Fund 1929.876
Catalogue raisonné: Reed and Shapiro 52
State: XV/XX (only known impression of this state)
Around the same time, Edgar Degas made a second etching showing Mary Cassatt in the Musée du Louvre, this time in the Etruscan Gallery.
Cassatt said that she posed for Degas "only once in a while when he finds the movement difficult and the model cannot seem to get his idea." In fact, she modeled for her friend on numerous occasions beginning in 1879 for a pastel titled At the Louvre, upon which Degas based this etching. Here, Degas showed Cassatt and her sister Lydia in Paris's Musée du Louvre, both involved in studying the paintings on view. Created at a time when women were less frequently seen alone in pub spaces, the image suggests the young women's independence and confidence.
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