Inspired by Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and other members of their circle, Cassatt (American, 1844 – 1926) embraced the Impressionists’ commitment to forthright storytelling about inconsequential subjects. In a room crammed with haphazardly arranged furniture, the daughter of friends of Degas sprawls on an overstuffed chair while Cassatt’s Brussels griffon rests on another. Although Cassatt’s candid picture of a bored or exhausted child repudiates traditional portraits of charming little girls in proper poses holding faithful dogs, she was enraged when the American jury rejected it for display at the 1878 Exposition Universelle. Instead, she showed it with the Impressionists in 1879, the first of her four exhibitions with the group.
[Oil on canvas, 89.5 x 129.8 cm]