Happy Birthday to our Friday Favorite, Pittsburgh’s own Mary Cassatt!
Born in Allegheny City (now the North Side), Cassatt became one of the leading figures in the Impressionist movement. Many of us are familiar with her paintings of women and children, but did you know that Cassatt was also an experimental printmaker?
Inspired by a Parisian exhibition of more than 700 Japanese woodcuts, Cassatt began a series of colored prints depicting the lives of modern urban women. Known as “The Ten,” these prints combined the techniques of drypoint, etching, aquatint, and hand-coloring with compositions reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints—incorporating elevated vantage points, strong diagonals, and flattened planes in their design. The series was groundbreaking. It was also labor intensive, with only eight or ten impressions produced by the artist and her printer, Modeste Leroy, in an entire day’s work.
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