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Status, price and artist’s estimate Mary CASSATT

Price of a signed painting: 15,000 – 2,000,000€.

Estimate for a drawing or watercolour by the artist at auction: €1,000 – 700,000

Selling price of a print or etching: 200 – 15,000€.

Who is Mary CASSATT?

Mary Stevenson Cassatt, more commonly known as Mary Cassatt, was an American painter and printmaker, originally from Pennsylvania, but with a distant French background. In 1851, the Cassatt family moved to Paris for a few years, where Mary learned French and was introduced to art through visits to the great Parisian museums. Back in Pennsylvania, she began drawing classes before returning to Paris a few years later to study with Paul-Constant Soyer and, later, Jean-Léon Gérôme.

An in-depth look at the art of the great masters

In Paris, in addition to her apprenticeship with the great painters of the time, visiting Barbizon and discovering Manet and Courbet, Marie Cassatt also trained as closely as possible to the old masters. She thus obtained her copyist’s card at the Louvre Museum and then, when war broke out in 1870, she travelled to Europe, particularly to Italy, where she lived for a time, studying colour after the works of Correggio. In Antwerp, the influence of Rubens’ works initiated a change in her painting: Cassatt developed a taste for the light, luminous colours that would make her successful.

Paris and the Impressionists

From 1868 onwards, the Salon accepted and regularly exhibited her paintings, which attracted the attention of great painters such as Degas, who proposed that she join the Impressionist movement in 1872, even though she was still training with Thomas Couture. Cassatt was therefore present from 1877 onwards at the exhibitions of the Impressionist painters and became friends with Berthe Morisot and Pissaro. Her painting, in its search for realism tinged with a form of lyricism, is rather atypical. His favourite subject at that time was the representation of mothers with their children. At the same time as she was painting, Mary Cassatt actively participated in the recognition of the Impressionist movement in the United States, encouraging Paul Durand-Ruel to take over 300 Impressionist paintings across the Atlantic. She sometimes hosted exhibitions herself, as in 1891.

A great deal of recognition

From 1890, Mary Cassatt’s painting was strongly influenced by Japanese prints, which she discovered at an exhibition. She learnt drawing techniques such as drypoint and aquatint. This was the beginning of what many art historians have described as the peak of her art. Mary Cassatt achieved a synthesis between the great clarity of composition influenced by Japanese art and the ever-present warmth of colour inherited from her Impressionist period. In 1904, she was awarded the Walter Lippincott Prize, which she refused, and then the Legion of Honour. Even today, she remains one of the best-known female painters and her works are often sold, particularly on the French market, such as the watercolour Sara au bonnet avec son chien, c.1901, which sold for more than 270,000 euros at Artcurial on 3 December 2019.

Appraise and sell a painting by Mary Cassatt

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