The Child's Bath

Painting of mother in blue, purple, and green-stripped dress washing child’s feet
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Painting of mother in blue, purple, and green-stripped dress washing child’s feet

Date:

1893

Artist:

Mary Cassatt
American, 1844–1926

About this artwork

The only American artist to exhibit her work with the French Impressionists, Mary Cassatt was first invited to show with the group by Edgar Degas in 1877. By that time, she had become disenchanted with traditional academic painting. Like her friend Degas, Cassatt concentrated on the human figure in her Impressionist works, particularly on sensitive yet unsentimental portrayals of women and children. The Child’s Bath, with its striking and unorthodox composition, is one of Cassatt’s masterworks. Here she employed unconventional devices such as cropped forms, bold patterns and outlines, and a flattened perspective, all of which derived from her study of Japanese woodblock prints. The lively patterns play off one another and serve to accentuate the nakedness of the child, whose vulnerable white legs are as straight as the lines of the woman’s striped dress. The elevated vantage point permits the viewer to observe, but not participate in, this most intimate scene. Cassatt’s composition thereby reinforces her subject: the tender absorption of a woman with a child.

On View

American Art, Gallery 171

Artist

Mary Cassatt

Title

The Child's Bath

Origin

France

Date

1893

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed lower left: "Mary Cassatt"

Dimensions

100.3 × 66.1 cm (39 1/2 × 26 in.)

Credit Line

Robert A. Waller Fund

Reference Number

1910.2

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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