However, after years of fondly perusing this painting and saying to myself, "What a darling pair of little girls!", it has suddenly struck me that it may be possible that the child wearing a sort of smock in the foreground was meant to be a boy--but fashions being what they were for toddler boys during the era it was painted, he looks like a girl. Otherwise, wouldn't that child be wearing a sunbonnet, too? And tights? And a lace petticoat? And wouldn't Cassatt have titled this work "Girls Playing on the Beach"?
As illustrated by this old photograph of a Victorian boy in a sailor suit (dress!), circa late 1880's, it must have been kind of hard to tell the lads from the lasses.
|Yikes! If my boys didn't know already how glad they are that they|
didn't grow up back in the Victorian Age, I think they do now!