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Mary Cassatt
Miss Mary Ellison
c. 1880
Oil on canvas

85.5 x 65.1 cm

National Gallery of Art

Excerpt from the National Gallery of Art:

This painting is the second of two portraits by Mary Cassatt thought to be of Mary Ellison. Cassatt painted the first in 1877, shortly after she met Miss Ellison through their mutual friend, Louise Waldron Elder (later Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, a well-known American art collector and a patron of Cassatt). Cassatt does not flatter but, rather, concentrates on Miss Ellisons contemplative mood.

In this painting, Cassatt demonstrates her affinities with the impressionists. Her brushwork is open and sketchy, and she favors a strong compositional structure over pictorial detail. The mirror behind Ellison was a device the artist used often its presence allowed the expansion of the compositions implied space to include areas that the viewer could not otherwise see.

National Gallery of Art
Chester Dale Collection, 1963.10.95


Mary Cassatt, American, (1844-1926)
b. May 22, 1844, Allegheny City, PA
d. 1926

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