Arts Everyday Living: Art of the Dog Week–Mary Cassatt, A Little Girl’s Best Friend & Playmate

Mary Cassatt, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878, oil on canvas, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Title: Little Girl in a Blue Armchair

Artist: Mary Cassatt (1844-1926)


Is it time for a nap for a girl and her pet? Slumped on her chair, is she about to fall asleep, taking a cue from her canine companion on the nearby chair?

The two seem oblivious of their colorful surroundings, dominated by the striking blue and decorative pattern of the plush furnishings. Truly a room of another era, of elegant ladies and attentive gentlemen that, only a moment ago, was an arena of play.

Mary Cassatt is considered one of the greatest painters of children in the history of art, capturing them with a naturalness equaled by few other artists. Although born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and growing up in Philadelphia, Cassatt spent most of her professional life as an artist in Paris. Early in her career, she met Edgar Degas and soon began showing her paintings and pastels in the exhibitions held by the French Impressionists between 1874-1886. LITTLE GIRL IN A BLUE ARMCHAIR is probably one of Cassatt’s first portrayals of a child.




In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery of Art does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the National Gallery of Art participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

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