Mary Cassatt

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Mary Cassatt, 1844-1926

The Stocking. 1890.


Original drypoint in soft black-brown ink on cream japan paper. 1890. Signed in pencil. Also with the blue MC monogram stamp in the lower left corner.  Superb early (1890) impression of the completed image, before the scratch in the plate which appears in the later impressions (see note below). Hand-printed by Cassatt herself at the studio of Delatre, Paris 1890. Very rare, one of a very few such early impressions existing.

Provenance:  Pasquale Iannetti Gallery, San Francisco. c.1985

Joe and Terry Long Collection. USA.

Ref: Breeskin – Mary Cassatt, The Graphic Work. No 129. 

Note: This impression is of the completed image. Cassatt spent a long time perfecting the work to her personal satisfaction, with working trial proofs at four intermediate states of completion. This example, printed by Cassatt herself, is one of extremely few (two or three) which show the image as what Cassatt considered to be perfect and completed.

A few years later (? c.1895, the date is not known exactly) an edition of 25 was printed and the plate destroyed. However in the interval between this proof (1890) and the edition the plate had been scratched and that scratch shows as a diagonal mark on the cheek of the child.

Superb delicately rich and tonal impression. On pale cream soft japan paper. Superb condition. The very slightest trace of colour-change in the paper tone in the area of an old mount. Paper not cleaned or restored. Very slight irregularity in the paper surface at the extreme upper edge of the top margin, from the nature of the manufacture of this type of soft japan. Sheet: 325 x 250 mm. Image/plate: 260 x 190 mm.

Price on Application

Mary Cassatt was perhaps the very greatest exponent of the medium of drypoint amongst the Impressionist painters.  Cassatt concentrated on the perfection of delicate line, and on the creation of tone, which can be captured through the minute accuracy of strength of stroke which drypoint allows. She first took up drypoint and etching as a way of perfecting her drawing skill but became so passionate about it that it stimulated some of her most beautiful imagery.

Cassatt is rightly thought-of as the genius of the theme of the mother and child in the Impressionist era, especially in her drawings and prints.  This study is a masterpiece both in its observation of the emotion of the theme, and in the way that it captures a momentary pose. Cassatt recorded in her notes that the child had just caught sight of a parrot which she kept on a corner of her studio.


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