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Mary Cassatt (World of Art)

Painter of Modern Women

Griselda Pollock


The definitive introduction to the artist Mary Cassatt, placing her work in the wider context of 19th-century feminism and art theory


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.


'Subtle and incisive … manages brilliantly to locate Cassatt culturally both in general and in relation to the intertextual “web of references to past and present”'
Linda Nochlin, London Review of Books

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Second edition

Size: 21.0 x 15.0 cm

Extent: 280 pp

Illustrations: 190

Publication date: 7 April 2022

ISBN: 9780500204818

About the Author

Griselda Pollock is Professor emerita of Social and Critical Histories of Art and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory & History (CentreCATH) at the University of Leeds. She is the 2020 Laureate of the Holberg Prize, awarded for her founding contribution to feminist revisions of art history, and Fellow of the Association for Art History (UK). Her publications include Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology (1981, co-authored with Roszika Parker), Vision and Difference: Femininity, Feminism, and Histories of Art (1987), Mary Cassatt (1998) and Differencing the Canon: Feminism and the Histories of Art (1999).