In 1888, Mary Cassatt began to experiment with drypoint, a printmaking technique in which an artist draws directly into a copper plate with a needle. This print belongs to a series that she created at this time, each characterized by a sketchiness akin to drawing. It depicts Mary (Mimi) Johnston, Cassatt's second cousin who traveled frequently to Europe and spent long periods of time in Paris. The artist focused most closely on her sitter's face and unfocused gaze, which suggests a sense of introspection. Mary was able to spend extended periods of time in Paris while her husband, Princeton professor William Milligan Sloane, researched and wrote an exhaustive study of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Mary Cassatt was the only American member of the French Impressionists. Speaking of the Impressionists, have you checked out our course on Impressionism? Here you can learn more about it. You won't be disappointed with it! : )
P.S. Here's one of my favorite Cassatt paintings—there's a cute little girl and even cuter little dog sitting on the beautiful turquoise armchairs! <3