Degas and Cassatt: The Untold Story of Creative Friendship Automatic translate
American artist Mary Cassatt has always been considered a student of Edgar Degas. But the exhibition, which opens at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, is designed to show that the creative influence of these two talented painters was mutual.
Degas first met Cassatt, who was born in Pittsburgh, but spent most of his life in Paris, in 1877, when he visited her studio in Montmartre. “He immediately realized that they had a common sensuality,” says curator of the exhibition, Kim Jones. Then Degas invited Mary to take part in the exhibition of the Impressionists, which he organized with his like-minded people - "independent" artists. This marked the beginning of their relationship. Of course, Degas didn’t sing to her serenades under the window but they became very close friends who maintained respect for each other for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, most of the correspondence that they conducted all 40 years of their communication has been lost, so it is not possible to precisely determine the boundaries of their relationship. But the works, especially those that they created between the late 1870s and the mid-1880s, left weighty evidence of their friendship and cooperation.
In the 1878 painting “Mary in a Blue Chair” by Mary Cassatt, we see a small child, relaxed in the arms of a turquoise chair. The work can be considered the quintessential style of Cassatt. However, recent studies of work in infrared rays, conducted by the National Art Gallery in Washington, show that the painting contains smears of a colleague and friend of Cassat - Edgar Degas. The French artist subtly changed the shape of the room. He removed the right angle from the intersection of the floor with the rear wall of the room, creating a strange and unexpected space.
After this discovery, a team of experts from the National Gallery decided to continue research on the paintings of both artists. The result was the Degas-Kassat exhibition, which will open on May 11 and will clearly demonstrate the creative relationship of this couple. The exhibition will feature 70 works by artists, including painting and graphics, made in mixed media and illustrating the artistic dialogue of the authors.
Between 1879-89, Degas and Kassat experimented a lot with new materials and techniques, moreover, innovations first appeared at Degas or at Kassat, but more often at the same time. For example, in Degas’ Portrait after a Costume Ball, the artist combines patches of smooth, dull pigment with wide strokes of paint with a metallic effect to create frantic texture surfaces. Cassatt uses the same materials in the works Standing Woman with a Fan and Lydia Sitting with Knitting on the Porch.
Anna Sidorova © Gallerix.ru
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