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Mary Cassatt Artist Biography

Mary Cassatt was born in 1844 to a wealthy family in Allegheny City in Pennsylvania. From 1860 to 1862 she studied antiques at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, then with the outbreak of the American Civil War she moved with her family to France. She began her painting career based in Paris painting in an Impressionist style. In 1868 'The Mandolin Player' was accepted for exhibition at the Salon under the name Mary Stevenson. Having returned to the United States in 1870 she met Emily Sartain a year later and together they travelled to Parma followed by Seville. After meeting Edgar Degas in Paris in 1877 she was invited to join the Indpendents and was to exhibit at the very last exhibition in 1886. From 1890, Cassatt moved away from the Impressionist style and her depictions of mothers and children were rendered in more solid forms.Mary Cassatts work in pastels and printmaking established her reputation. She used bold colours and a variety of techniques such as drypoint and etching. Her inspiration came from the Japanese style of printmaking. She was a highly versatile artist, however, and among other works she was commissioned to produce a mural representing Modern Woman for the Women's Building at the World's Exhibition in Chicago.Due to poor eyesight Cassatt was forced to stop working in 1914 and died in 1926.

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