A close ally of Camille Pissarro, Berthe Morisot and Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt was the only American painter at the heart of the Impressionist group in Paris. Highly respected on both sides of the Atlantic, Cassatt was a forthright advocate for women’s intellectual, creative and political emancipation. She brought her discerning gaze and compositional inventiveness across many media to the subtle social interactions of women in public and private spaces, such as at the theatre, and in moments of intimacy with children, where she remains one of the most attentive and unsentimental analysts of the infant body and the child’s emerging personality.
Tracing key moments in Cassatt’s long career, art historian Griselda Pollock highlights Cassatt’s extensive artistic training across Europe, analysing her profound study of Old Masters while revealing her intelligent understanding of both Manet and Courbet. Pollock also provides close readings of Cassatt’s paintings and her singular vision of women in modernity. Now revised with a new preface, updates to the bibliography and colour illustrations throughout, this book offers a rich perspective on the core concerns of a major Impressionist artist through the frames of class, gender, space and difference.