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The Letter

Mary Cassatt

The Letter

Mary Cassatt
  • Date: 1890 - 1891
  • Style: Japonism
  • Genre: genre painting
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Mary Cassatt often depicted the private lives of women and children in her paintings. The Letter is one such painting, which she created in the Japanese wood block print style. The graphic decorations on the woman’s dress, as well as the wallpaper behind her, indicate the extent of Japanese art on her style. The artwork, which depicts a woman sitting at a desk inside, mailing an envelope, is a more than just a quaint genre painting. By painting the woman indoors, Cassatt was making a statement about the way women were treated. In this case, the woman is sitting inside in solitude, due to the fact that social mores restricted the activities that she could do outside the home.

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