Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Paintings by Mary Cassatt


Woman Reading by Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt's Woman Reading (oil on canvas, 32-1/4x Art Museum
Mary Cassatt's Woman Reading (oil on canvas, 32-1/4x Art Museum

Mary Cassatt's 1874 work Woman Reading was part of her first exhibition with the Impressionists. Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas saw a work by Cassatt at the official Salon, and a few years later he urged her to exhibit with the Impressionists. She became the first and only American in the circle. In paintings such as Woman Reading, Mary Cassatt con­centrated on the seemingly simple daily activities of a middle-class woman's life: welcoming friends for tea, answering letters, and reading. The critics found Mary Cassatt's work fresh and real, demonstrative of her mastery of color as well as the domestic subject.

For another example of Mary Cassatt's interest in capturing the lives of middle-class women, go to the next page.

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see:

For more on Impressionist paintings, artists, and art history, see: