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.

Date:

1878/79

Artist:

Mary Cassatt
American, 1844–1926

About this artwork

During Mary Cassatt's early Impressionist period, she frequently focused on the activities of middle-class women in society—at the theater or taking tea, for example. At first glance, the arresting painting 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, while 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. Even at home Cassatt's subjects are connected to the contemporary world, not lost in a fictional fantasy.

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American Art

Artist

Mary Cassatt

Title

On a Balcony

Origin

France

Date

1878–1879

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed lower left: "Mary Cassatt"

Dimensions

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

1938.18

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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