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Mary Cassatt

Autographed Document

1248543-1

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Mary Cassatt - A partially printed customs declaration for an artwork, from the U.S. Consulate General at Paris, dated July 28, 1876. One page, 4to (8" x 10"), attached to a document signed in the hand of Robert Cassatt, her father, one page, (8.5" x 6.5"). Described on the verso by the artist here as "a picture 100 metre by 70 centimetres representing a Musical repetition", and signed "Mary S. Cassatt" on the verso, counter-signed by the U.S. Vice-Consul to Paris, and signed by her twice on the recto. With attached faded docket on light purple paper.

The subject matter and dimensions of the work – accounting for Cassatt's rather charming confusion of metres and centimetres – suggest that the painting this document accompanied was "A Musical Party"of 1874, now at the Musée Carnavalet, Paris; her father's sworn statement attached places the value of the work at $400. It was exhibited in 1874 in Paris and in Philadelphia in 1878 (see images).

Although Cassatt was an American born painter from Pennsylvania, she proclaimed her independence by leaving in 1866 to paint in France. Influenced, like Degas, by Japanese woodcuts, she began to emphasize line over mass and experimented with asymmetric composition and informal, natural gestures and positions. Portrayals of mothers and children in intimate relationship and domestic settings became her theme. By 1872, after studying in the major museums of Europe, her style began to mature, and she settled in Paris. There her work attracted the attention of the French painter Edgar Degas, who invited her to exhibit with his fellow impressionists.

An image of her work referred to in this customs declaration of , A Musical Party , is shown.

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TAGS: Education, New Hampshire, Space Shuttle Program

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