Reading Le Figaro by Cassatt

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Mark Cartwright
by Mary Cassatt
published on 22 May 2022

An 1878 oil on canvas, Reading Le Figaro, by Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), the American impressionist painter. The choice of newspaper, one usually read by men in this period, indicates the artists' intention to show the model, her mother, as someone who was not a traditional female figure but someone with advanced views on what women should concern themselves with. The mirror on the right is a nod to traditional portraitists who frequently used the device to show another side of the subject, but here Cassatt chooses not to do that and to only show the reflection of the newspaper, emphasising its importance in revealing her mother's character. (Private Collection)

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Cassatt, M. (2022, May 22). Reading Le Figaro by Cassatt. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Cassatt, Mary. "Reading Le Figaro by Cassatt." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified May 22, 2022.

MLA Style

Cassatt, Mary. "Reading Le Figaro by Cassatt." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 22 May 2022. Web. 05 Feb 2023.