Maternal Caress

Mary Cassatt American

Not on view

After transferring her design for this print from the preparatory drawing (64.123.3), Cassatt established the figures with drypoint lines, incising directly into the copperplate with a needle. She then built up the areas of tone and pattern by working across two additional plates using aquatint. This work is one of a series of ten color prints for which she was directly inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e woodcuts, evident in the flattening of the pictorial space and use of unmodulated color. The artist first exhibited the print as "Nude Child" (Enfant nue); the current title derives from the 1948 catalogue raisonné and indicates the extent to which Cassatt’s work came to be associated with the subject of motherhood.

Maternal Caress, Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise), Drypoint, aquatint and softground etching, printed in color from three plates; sixth state of six (Mathews & Shapiro)

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