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On a Balcony

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Mary Cassatt
American, 1844–1926

About this artwork

During her early Impressionist period, Mary Cassatt frequently captured the activities of middle- and upper-class women in society—at the theater or taking tea, for example. On a Balcony, which was shown in the 1880 Impressionist exhibition, appears to depict a woman in a public setting. However, the blue rail of the balcony, visible near the top of the painting, defines the enclosed space of a private garden, and the woman’s morning dress further indicates the intimacy of her location. Cassatt signaled the modernity of her subject through the woman’s choice of reading material: she peruses a newspaper rather than a novel, demonstrating that even at home, Cassatt’s subjects are connected to the contemporary world.


On View, Gallery 273


Arts of the Americas


Mary Cassatt


On a Balcony


France (Place depicted)


c. 1878–1879


Oil on canvas


Signed lower left: "Mary Cassatt"


89.9 × 65.2 cm (35 1/2 × 25 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Albert J. Beveridge in memory of her aunt, Delia Spencer Field

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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