Monday, July 12, 2010

Mary Cassatt

under the horse chestnut tree. the coiffure. mother's kiss. the bath.... under the horse chestnut tree is so stunning, it always sucks me in to the scene.

In April 1890, an exhibition of Japanese woodcuts at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris inspired Mary Cassatt to begin experimenting with different print techniques. Using aquatint, drypoint, etching, and hand-coloring, Cassatt attempted to capture the flat planes and simple lines of Japanese woodcuts. After painstakingly overseeing the execution of each print, Cassatt exhibited the resulting series of ten at the Durand Ruel Gallery in Paris the next year. Together, the prints combine the spare beauty of Japanese woodcut designs with innovative color patterns and finely tuned drawing. 'The Bath' was Cassatt's first effort in the series, and the only one, according to her, in which she truly tried to imitate Japanese design. She produced seventeen different states for 'The Bath', more than for any other print in the series.

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