Mary Cassatt: Impressionist Painter

Mary Cassatt: Impressionist Painter

by Lois Harris
     
 

A children�s biography of the beloved Impressionist, illustrated with the artist�s own works. Though remembered for her signature pieces of loving moments captured between a mother and child, Mary Cassatt was anything but conventional. This book chronologically portrays her lifelong artistic journey from her days as a child

Overview

A children�s biography of the beloved Impressionist, illustrated with the artist�s own works. Though remembered for her signature pieces of loving moments captured between a mother and child, Mary Cassatt was anything but conventional. This book chronologically portrays her lifelong artistic journey from her days as a child living abroad to her earned success as the only female American member of the French Impressionists. Her biography shows how one girl�s lifelong dream to become an artist came true due to an independent spirit, determination, and commitment to her craft. Cassatt�s own paintings, 19 of which are included here, demonstrate her various techniques and show how she developed a unique style combining admiration for the old masters with inspiration from the Impressionists.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Bowman-Kruhm
Words, effectively sparse in this biography of Mary Cassatt, match photographs and reproductions of paintings by her and her contemporaries to carry the reader through major events in her life. For example, her early years are illustrated by her painting of Young Girl Reading. After a childhood in the United States and Europe, she traveled to France at age twenty-one to copy paintings by the old masters; this phase of her life is illustrated by Edgar Degas's painting of her at the Louvre. Seeing a painting by Degas in an art dealer's window inspired Cassatt to develop her unique style of Impressionism, for which she gained recognition first in her adopted country of France and ultimately in the United States. Generous with help to young artists, she was awarded France's Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1904 and upon her death was given a funeral with military honors. Without preaching, Harris notes the impossibility of women in that era combining family and career and, although Cassatt often painted children, she was childless. Through both words and art, this biography beautifully pictures the life of a talented and courageous woman who achieved what few women in the early years of the twentieth century dared even to dream. Highly recommended. Reviewer: Mary Bowman-Kruhm, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 2-4
Cassatt, "one of the world's greatest Impressionist painters," was born in Pennsylvania in 1844, began drawing as a child, and, by the time she was 21, was studying and copying the works of the great masters in the museums of western Europe. An admirer and friend of Edgar Degas, she became the only American Impressionist, but her visionary style wasn't appreciated until after her death. Cassatt's story is told primarily through reproductions of artworks, both her own paintings and those of her contemporaries. The illustrations provide an overview of her work from 1873 to 1901 and make it easy to trace her evolving style. The pieces are well chosen to coordinate with the text, and, while the intensity of the colors is somewhat muted, the overall quality is quite good. Occasional black-and-white photos of pertinent people and places round out this chronological biography. A credits page lists titles, dates, and locations of the reproductions. Unfortunately, the narrative is rather dry, using matter-of-fact short, declarative sentences that explain the important information but give little life to the subject. Although this title would be a serviceable introduction for elementary readers, libraries with Jane O'Connor's more exuberant Mary Cassatt (Grosset & Dunlap, 2003) can easily pass it by.
—Nancy Menaldi-ScanlanCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Mary Cassatt was a trailblazer both as a woman and as a painter. As the author of this biography declares, by "following her own plan, she became one of the world's greatest Impressionist painters." Unfortunately, a recitation of the facts of Cassatt's life-born in 1844, moved to Europe with her family for a spell, moved back, attended art school, tired of painting to please the judges, etc.-fails to convey the passion and intense creativity she must have possessed. Even the lovely paintings reproduced here fail to enliven what by definition is a hugely difficult project: using the vehicle of biography to teach art history to those without the context or vocabulary necessary to give it meaning. While doing a serviceable job of explaining the difference between the painters favored by the Salon and the Impressionists, the attempts to add kid-friendly interest to the story fall flat. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781589804524
Publisher:
Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/14/2007
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
873,101
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lois V. Harris's fiction, nonfiction, and photography have appeared in children's magazines and the L.A. Times. The author of Mary Cassatt: Impressionist Painter and Charlie Russell: Tale-Telling Cowboy Artist, Harris is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Authors Guild, the University of Washington Alumni Association, and the Seattle Art Museum. She lives with her family and two cats in Anacortes, Washington, and enjoys visiting museums and learning about art.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >