The Coiffure

The Coiffure

1890-1891

Mary Cassatt

(American, 1844-1926)

Drypoint and aquatint

Platemark: 36.8 x 26.7 cm (14 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.)

Bequest of Charles T. Brooks 1941.79

Catalogue raisonné: Mathews & Shapiro 14, Breeskin 152

State: M & S: V/V, B: IV/IV

Description

The theme of a woman at her toilette was a common one for male artists of the 19th century for whom it presented the opportunity to depict the female nude—historically considered an essential aspect of artistic practice. For a woman artist to address the subject transgressed social norms of the period. Women were not permitted to attend the illustrious École des Beaux-Arts until 1897, and even at the Académie Julian, which opened to women in 1868, they were not permitted to draw from nude models. Cassatt's answer to the rules of decorum was to suggest the setting of a bourgeois house, rather than the settings her male contemporaries preferred—such as the Turkish bath or the brothel. In her description of the female body, Cassatt relied upon the stylized elegance of her Japanese prototypes, thereby abstracting the nudity of her model.

See also
Collection: 
PR - Drypoint
Department: 
Prints
Type of artwork: 
Print

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.