Book Report: Mary Cassatt by Sophia Craze (1990, 2003)

Book coverAs I said when I bought the book, you could expect me to take a look through this book immediately while nominally watching a football game. Watching football these days really does just provide a pretext for me to sit on the sofa in front of a fire and browse great works of art. Also, to cheer for whatever team is playing the Bears, even the Patriots.

This book is an oversized (which is just right sized for art books, if you know what I mean) full color collection of Cassatt’s work from the different eras in her life (Early, Impressionist, Mature, and Late) and has a little bio of her at the front. I laughed at the beginning of the bio, when it says that she came from a middle class family who spent years travelling in Europe and had horses. In some places, middle class means “merchant,” and her father was a stock broker with a pile of money, but that’s not upper class, lovey. Somehow.

I think Cassatt might fall between Renoir and Manet as my favorite Impressionist. Even in her Mature and Late post-Impressionist pieces, her soft lines and brush strokes evoke memory as more straightforward and unabashedly Impressionist pieces do. Cassatt, it must be noted (and will be again when I report on the other book on her work I have), was the only American included with the Impressionists. Fittingly so.

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