Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mother and Child (The Oval Mirror)

Artist:
Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise)
Date:
ca. 1899
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
32 1/8 x 25 7/8 in. (81.6 x 65.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
H.O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H.O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
29.100.47
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
Here, Cassatt underscored the importance of the maternal bond by evoking religious art. The woman’s adoring look and the boy’s sweet face and contrapposto stance suggest Italian Renaissance images of the Virgin and Child, a connection reinforced by the oval mirror that frames the boy’s head like a halo. Cassatt’s colleague Edgar Degas perceived her references to the Renaissance, telling her that the painting “has all of your qualities and all your faults—it’s the Infant Jesus and his English nurse.” The Havemeyers, who purchased the canvas for their collection, referred to it as “The Florentine Madonna.”
Signature: [at lower left]: Mary Cassatt
with Durand-Ruel Galleries, Paris, 1899; with Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, 1899; Henry Osborne Havemeyer, New York, 1899–died 1907; his wife, Mrs. Henry Osborne Havemeyer, New York, 1907–1929
Related Objects

Mother and Child

Artist: Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) Medium: Pastel on paper Accession: 59.200.1 On view in:Not on view

Ellen Mary Cassatt

Artist: Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) Date: ca. 1899 Medium: Pastel on laid paper, originally mounted on a strainer Accession: 60.132.1 On view in:Gallery 769

Nurse Reading to a Little Girl

Artist: Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) Date: 1895 Medium: Pastel on wove paper, mounted on canvas Accession: 62.72 On view in:Not on view

Adaline Havemeyer in a White Hat

Artist: Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) Date: probably begun 1898 Medium: Pastel on wove paper, mounted on canvas Accession: 1992.235 On view in:Not on view

Lilacs in a Window (Vase de Lilas a la Fenetre)

Artist: Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) Date: ca. 1880–83 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 1997.207 On view in:Gallery 769