The Letter

Mary Cassatt American

Not on view

Cassatt's solemn correspondent calmly seals her envelope, exhibiting none of the dreamy sentimentality of artistic predecessors. Instead, this modern woman attends to her domestic responsibilities with dignity and concentration-and without revealing the contents of her missive. In this final state of the print Cassatt altered an element of the initial design: the pink bodice seen here is impressed over a smocking pattern that she had drawn earlier in drypoint. The elaborate patterning was achieved by means of three plates printed successively on the same sheet.

The Letter, Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise), Drypoint and aquatint, printed in color from three plates; fourth state of four

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