The Fitting. Ca 1890 Drypoint. Brooklyn Museum
Mary Cassatt was an American painter and printmaker, known for her contributions to Impressionism. Cassatt’s paintings and prints usually depict women and children in both domestic and public venues. Cassatt produced a number of intaglio prints using a variety of techniques, including drypoint and aquatint. Cassatt is known to have loved printmaking so much that she had her own press and pulled many of her own prints.
Tea. 1890. Drypoint. Collection of Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University
The two great influences in Cassatt’s work include her friendship to Edgar Degas and her exposure to Japanese (ukiyo-e) woodblock prints. While Cassatt was inspired by the flat compositions and colors of woodblock printing, she preferred to use drypoint and color aquatint techniques to achieve a similar aesthetic.
Woman Bathing. 1890-891. Color aquatint and drypoint. Art Institute of Chicago.
Under the Horse Chestnut Tree. 1898. Drypoint and aquatint print. Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
Photo of Mary Cassatt
Cassatt produced most of her prints between1889 and 1911. Her most remembered series might be a group of colorful aquatints exhibited in 1891. This body of work is still hailed by art historians as a milestone in the graphic arts.
Towards the end of her life her vision suffered, greatly hindering her production. Cassatt’s prints are now in museum and library collections around the world.