In Mary Cassatt’s (American, 1844–1926) painting Lilacs in a Window
(Vase de Lilas à la Fenêtre
), created about 1880–83, a vase containing purple and white lilacs is shown on what appears to be a sill or work surface in a greenhouse, with the adjacent window propped open. This simple subject is presented with an angular fluency and dash characteristic of Cassatt’s best work, which is not surprising given her love of gardens and flowers. Cassatt, who concentrated on portraying the human figure, rarely painted pure still life. Our floral scarf features a detail from this work in the Museum’s collection.
Silk crêpe de chine. Imported. 36'' square.
- Silk crêpe de chine
- 36'' square
Art HistoryMary Cassatt (American, 1844–1926), born in Allegheny City (now part of Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, spent her early years with her family in France and Germany. From 1860 to 1862, she studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. By 1865, she had convinced her parents to let her study in Paris, where she took private lessons from leading academic painter Jean-Léon Gérôme, copied works of the old masters, and went sketching. In 1877, Edgar Degas invited her to join the group of independent artists later known as the Impressionists. Like Degas, she was chiefly interested in figural compositions.