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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 loan to Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia for Mary Cassatt at Work


Arts of the Americas


Mary Cassatt


On a Balcony


France (Place depicted)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1878–1879


Oil on canvas


Signed recto, bottom-left, on grass, in red pigment: "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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