The Coiffure

Mary Cassatt American

Not on view

In 1891, Cassatt exhibited a set of ten color prints at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris. All depict women engaged in everyday activities, with four using mirrors to extend and complicate the pictorial space. This intimate scene echoes woodcuts by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753–1806) showing courtesans at their toilette, examples of which the artist owned and admired. Here, a half-dressed woman sits before a looking glass and arranges her hair as she gazes down at her lap. Cassatt took the print through five states, using drypoint lines to establish the figure, then applying aquatint to build tone and pattern, and finally printing the plates with colored inks.

The Coiffure, Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise), Drypoint and aquatint, printed in color from three plates; fifth state of five (Mathews & Shapiro)

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