At a point in her career when she was struggling to find her artistic direction, and had been refused at the Paris Salon for the first time in several years, American artist mary Cassatt was invited by Edgar Degas to exhibit outside the Salon with the new group of upstart painters who would come to be known as the French Impressionists.
Degas saw in Cassatt a talented artist and a kindred spirit; and Cassatt, long an admirer of Degas’ work, found in him a friend an mentor. The two established a lifelong friendship and engaged in an ongoing dialog about the principles by which they wished to create art.
A new exhibit opening tomorrow, May 11, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, seeks to explore that relationship, as well as showcasing the pantings, pastels and graphics of both artists.
Degas often portrayed Cassatt, and several of those pieces are included in the exhibition (images above, top three).
There is a small gallery of works on the museum’s website, and the exhibition brochure is available as a PDF. There is also a book accompanying the exhibition, available from the museum store, as well as other booksellers.
Degas/Cassat runs until October 5, 2014.
(Images above: Edgar Degas, top 3; Mary Cassatt, bottom 4)