Softground etching and aquatint
Platemark: 27.8 x 21.7 cm (10 15/16 x 8 9/16 in.); Sheet: 36.5 x 27.8 cm (14 3/8 x 10 15/16 in.)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1988.36
Catalogue raisonné: Breeskin 30
Mary Cassatt often made only a few (or even just one) impression of her early softground etchings, making these prints virtually unique works.
Beginning from a spare drawing of her mother in her home library, Mary Cassatt created this etching by adding aquatint to her copper plate, creating tonal variations and bold contrasts of light and shadow. This is an extremely rare artist's proof of the second of three versions of the etching. Early prints like Knitting in the Library were private rather than commercial works of art, exercises in experimentation and innovation made by Cassatt as she explored Impressionism.
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