Mary Cassatt (1844–1926) settled in Paris in 1874. She was the only American artist invited to exhibit in the now celebrated Impressionist exhibitions of 1878–81 and 1886. “I accepted with joy,” she recalled, “I took leave of conventional art. I began to live.”
As well as being a skillful painter, Cassatt was a gifted printmaker. Mary Cassatt: Prints presents a pristine selection of her prints from the collection of The National Gallery, Canada. Cassatt was a friend and collaborator of fellow Impressionist Edgar Degas, and, like him, she often depicted the day-to-day lives of women—with seamstresses, confiding in companions, and caring for children. In the early 1890s, Cassatt was also inspired by Japanese woodblock prints and as a result, she infused many of her works with striking Asian forms and patterns that were refreshing and technically innovative.