Mary Cassatt was a headstrong, determined girl. She wanted to be an artist in 1860, a time when proper girls didn't do such things. Mary pursued art with a passion, moving to Paris to study, painting what she saw. When her work was rejected by the judges at the Paris Salon, the great painter Edgar Degas invited her to join his group of independent artists, who painted as they pleased--the Impressionists. "I began to live," Mary said. Today, Mary Cassatt is recognized as one of the great Impressionist painters, and her work hangs in museums around the world.
Starred Review Publishers Weekly:
Herkert and Swiatkowska present an enchanting portrait of an uncompromising artist, and from the start there's no mistaking that Cassatt was uninterested in hewing to social and artistic conventions. "In 1860, proper girls weren't artists. They had polite hobbies--flower arranging, needlepoint. Not Mary," Herkert writes, as Swiatkowska pictures a young Cassatt glowering, arms crossed over her chest (one suspects she's about to rip the giant white bow off her own head). Swiatkowska does an exceptional job of evoking Cassatt's artwork and era while staying true to the idiosyncrasies of her own work, and as Herkert follows Cassatt from art school to Europe and friendship with Degas, the rewards of creating art on one's own terms become abundantly clear.
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