Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) was born in a rich family. She could have lived a careless life. Could have got married and had children. But she chose a different road. She vowed celibacy for the sake of painting. She was on friendly terms with Edgar Degas. Once in the impressionist environment, she became addicted to this style once and for all. And her “Little Girl in a Blue Armchair” is the first impressionist painting saw by the public.
Then, as recently as in the 20th century, it unexpectedly became “outdated”, since art nouveau (Klimt) and fauvism (Matisse) became en vogue.
Cassatt gave up on motherhood for the sake of painting. But her female principle increasingly manifested itself in such tender works as “Sleepy Baby”. It’s a pity that the conservative society once presented her with such a challenge.
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