Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Degas and Cassatt: The Untold Story of Their Artistic Friendship - posted by FFAB

Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878, oil on canvas.

Degas and Cassatt: The Untold Story of Their Artistic Friendship 

Mary Cassatt has long been considered a pupil of Degas. But an upcoming exhibition at the National Gallery of Art shows that creative influence went both ways

In Mary Cassatt’s 1878 painting Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, a fidgeting young child slouches into the pillowy embrace of a turquoise chair. The girl’s scruffy black and brown dog sleeps on the seat next to her, adding to the tranquility of this domestic scene.

The canvas is a quintessential Cassatt. However, recent cleaning of the work and infrared images taken by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., reveal that brushstrokes from someone else’s hand are also present—Cassatt’s friend and colleague Edgar Degas. The French artist subtly changed the shape of the room. He had the floor intersect with the back wall at an angle, rather than perpendicularly, creating negative spaces that are strange and unexpected.

Upon discovering these details of Degas’s intervention on Cassatt’s canvas, a team of experts at the National Gallery decided to explore further. They organized the exhibition Degas/Cassatt to investigate the previously unknown depth of the pair’s artistic relationship. The show, which opens May 11, will feature a selection of 70 paintings, drawings, and works of mixed media by both artists to highlight their artistic dialogue.

It is a common misconception that Cassatt was merely a pupil of Degas, when in fact both artists learned from and respected one another, and executed daring experiments using unconventional materials.

Says Jones, “she’s a much edgier artist than people give her credit for.”

These excerpts do not do the article justice, please read the whole article here; 
Degas and Cassatt  GL


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