Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Impressionist Mary Cassatt

This painting entitled "Children Playing on the Beach" is by American painter and printmaker Mary Cassatt (1844-1926). Cassatt moved to France in 1874 and lived there the rest of her life. She befriended and was inspired by Edgar Degas (the famous Impressionist known for his paintings of ballerinas), and in 1879 eleven of her paintings were exhibited alongside those of the famous French Impressionists of the day.

Although many Impressionists focused on painting landscapes or street scenes, Cassatt was famous for her portraits--particularly portraits of women in everyday domestic settings, with a special emphasis on the mother and child theme. She was very fond of children, and they appear in many of her paintings. This fondness for little ones is certainly evident in the darling scene depicted here.

Mary Cassatt's work has an honesty and sweetness that speaks to me. In general, I'm not a huge fan of the Impressionists. Although I admire their talent, I don't always care for their subject matter. But I am drawn to many of the works of American Impressionist Mary Cassatt. And "Children Playing on the Beach" is one of my favorites. Now that I have twin granddaugthers, I love it even more than I used to. This could be Bonny Babe and Cutie Pie, digging in the sand at the beach near the Pearl family's lakeside homestead in Upstate NY. The twins' maternal grandpa has often said that he can imagine them there one day, with little bathing suits and life jackets on, giggling and splashing around in the lake (he may not have used those exact words, but that was the gist of it). That is a scene I look forward to seeing, I can tell you that! That will be a scene worth immortalizing in paint on canvas.


  1. Lovely post! I'm really glad you sent me the link. The list of our mutual interests just keep growing and growing! :)