In the Loge by Mary Cassatt - 1878 - 81.28 x 66.04 cm Museum of Fine Arts Boston In the Loge by Mary Cassatt - 1878 - 81.28 x 66.04 cm Museum of Fine Arts Boston

In the Loge

Oil on canvas • 81.28 x 66.04 cm
  • Mary Cassatt - May 22, 1844 - June 14, 1926 Mary Cassatt 1878

Mary Stevenson Cassatt was an American painter who felt that her artistic education in the United States was inadequate. She traveled to Europe soon after the Civil War, studied in both Italy and France, and by 1873 she had made Paris her home. She felt the spirit of innovation there and quickly met the revolutionary Impressionists. She approved of their disdain for juried exhibitions and soon adopted their experimental techniques and their preference for images of contemporary life. In 1877 Edgar Degas invited her to show her work with the group. Cassatt thus became one of only three women, and the only American, ever to join the French Impressionists.

In the Loge was the first of Cassatt’s Impressionist paintings to be displayed in the United States. When it was shown in Boston in 1878, critics described the picture as “striking,” adding that Cassatt’s painting “surpassed the strength of most men.” The canvas depicts a fashionable lady dressed for an afternoon performance at the Comédie-Française, a theater in Paris. Entertainments like the theater, the opera, and the racetrack were extremely popular among Parisians, who enjoyed such diversions not only for the show, but also for the opportunity to see—and to be seen by—their peers. And for gossiping reasons, of course. Cassatt’s painting explores the very act of looking, breaking down the traditional boundaries between the observer and the observed, the audience and the performer.

It is our last day of Women's History Month. We hope you enjoyed our selections of artists and artworks!  :)

P.S. Learn more about the artists in our article - Mary Cassatt: The Story of the American Impressionist.

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