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

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

Lady at the Tea Table

Artist: Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) Date: 1883–85 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 23.101 On view in:Gallery 768

Gardner and Ellen Mary Cassatt

Artist: Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) Date: 1899 Medium: Pastel on wove paper, originally mounted on a stainer Accession: 57.182 On view in:Not on view

Mother and Child (Baby Getting Up from His Nap)

Artist: Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) Date: ca. 1899 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 09.27 On view in:Gallery 774

Mother and Child

Artist: Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) Date: 1906 Medium: Pastel on paper Accession: 58.191.1 On view in:Not on view