Famous Artists and their Circles 11 : Mary Cassatt

Breakfast in Bed (1897), Mary Cassatt 

You may with to use this page along with Merry-Go-Round Booklet p.46: Lullaby  : Merry-Go-Round booklet

Lullabies emerge from the need to express something deeper than words alone can express. When we sing a lullaby, wrapping our arms around our child, we are surrounding them with a circle of love. Every culture, whether primitive or sophisticated, shares lullabies with its young. Some scholars believe that the lullaby is the root of all sung music.

The American artist, Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) is best known for her portraits of mothers and children, depicting their close relationships. She thought about ways we show affection, such as holding hands, placing an arm around a shoulder, using eye contact, or sharing an activity. She emphasised these in her paintings by drawing her subjects in a realistic manner, with their clothing, as well as the backgrounds, being sketchy and less detailed.


Mother and Child Smiling at Each Other (1908)

The mother in this painting loves her baby very much. How can you tell?

Find a favourite photograph of your family and look at the people in it. What does their body language say about their relationships?







Find out more:


Mary Cassatt: Extraordinary Impressionist – Barbara Herkert









Video: Biography with paintings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzElAusnaAs&feature=youtu.be


Download a pdf version of this page : _Famous Artists and their Circles 11 Cassatt

Produced by An Lanntair as part of Full Circle Arts programme.  Funded through the Aspiring Communities Fund with support from the European Social Fund.