The Bath

Mary Cassatt American

Not on view

Cassatt printed the early impression of The Bath, exhibited nearby, from a single plate, but created this later impression with two separately inked and printed plates—one for tonal areas, one for drypoint lines and the tone of the mother’s dress. Cassatt described this work, the first in the series of ten she exhibited in Paris in 1891, as made "in imitation of Japanese art." Inspired by Ukiyo-e woodcuts, Cassatt colored her figures in flat unmodulated tones; contrasted with the yellow dress, the rippling water in the tub gains an unexpected illusionism. When the brothers Arthur and Paul J. Sachs gave early and final states of Cassatt’s set to the Department of Prints at its founding in 1916, the color states came from Paul and those printed in black ink from Arthur.

The Bath, Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise), Drypoint, soft-ground etching and aquatint, printed in color from two plates; seventeenth state of seventeen (Mathews & Shapiro)

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