Born near Pittsburgh in 1844, Mary Cassatt studied art for four years during the Civil War at the Pennsylvania Academy. Feeling stifled at the then predominant learning mode in which artists (especially female artists) drew almost exclusively from plaster casts, shortly after the war, she fled to Europe and Paris in search of a freer, more accepting climate in which to learn and practice her art, just in time to grab the train to Impressionism with fellow-passenger and best friend Edgar Degas. Though both displayed with this group of ground-breaking artist, neither of them were die hard impressionists. What they shared with the impressionists was a quiet disdain for the high and mighty "official" subject matter of Academic art.
|The Bath, 1893, Mary Cassatt|