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MARY STEVENSON CASSATT
AUGUSTA WITH HER FOREFINGER ON HER CHEEK
1910, oil on canvas
signed Mary Cassatt, l.l.
26 3/4 x 22 3/8 in., frame: 37 x 34 in.
Provenance: The artist;
Durand-Ruel, Paris, December 9, 1910 (Paris stock #9459, Paris photo #6900);
James Stillman, Paris and New York;
Bequest to his son, Dr. Ernest Goodrich Stillman, New York;
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, 1922;
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 1969;
Private New England Collection, July 1971;
By descent in the famly to
The Estate of a Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts Gentleman.
Exhibitions: -Galeries Durand-Ruel, Paris, France, June 8-27, 1914 Tableaux, pastels, dessins, et pointes-seches par Mary Cassatt, no. 11.
-Cleveland Museum, Cleveland, OH, October 31-December 11, 1923, Special Exhibition of Etchings, Drawings, Drypoints, and Paintings by Mary Cassatt, no. 158.
-Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, October 14-December 5, 1926, Twenty-Fifth Annual International Exhibition of Paintings, no. 1.
-Art Institute of Chigaco, Chicago, IL, December 21, 1926-January 24, 1927, Memorial Collection of the Works of Mary Cassatt, no. 33.
-Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, March 15-April 15, 1928, A Memorial Exhibition of the Works of Mary Cassatt, no. 43.
-Davenport Municipial Art Gallery, Davenport, IA, April 2-30, 1939, A Survey Exhibition of American Painting, no. 4.
-Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY, January 4-25, 1953, Expatriates: Whistler, Cassatt, Sargent, no. 21.
Literature: -"An Oil Painting by Mary Cassatt. Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art (July 1922), p. 119, and cover illustration.
-"Current Exhibitions: Gallery IX." Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art (November 1923), pp. 163-5.
-"New York Exhibitions." Arts (December 1926), p. 349.
-Watson, Forbes. "The Carnegie International." Arts (November 1926), pp. 251-69, illustrated.
"Famous Americans in Exile." Arts Digest (January 1953), p. 13, illustrated.
-Apollinaire, Guillaume. Apollinaire on Art: Essays and Reviews 1902-1918, Edited by Leroy C. Breuing, translated by Susan Suleiman. New York: Viking Press, 1972, p. 404.
-Spassky, Natalie. American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 2, edited by Kathleen Luhrs. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985, p. 653.
Other Notes: In this striking oil portrait, Augusta, who was the subject of several of Cassatt's oils, stares out at the viewer with deep, doe-like brown eyes, a coy expression on her face, with her mouth closed and the hint of a smile in the dimples at each edge of her lips. She seems relaxed, leaning on her right arm, with her right forefinger resting on her cheek as she sits in quiet repose. The creamy skin of her décolletage is enveloped by the bright blue textured silk and masterfully rendered white lace of her robe.
Painted by Cassatt in 1910, the portrait of Augusta was with Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris until at least 1914, at which point it sold to James Jewett Stillman (1859-1918), a wealthy financier and an avid art collector. Upon Stillman's sudden death in 1918, the work passed by bequest to Stillman's son, Dr. Ernest Goodrich Stillman of New York, who ultimately gave the painting to the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1922. Augusta hung in Cleveland for many years and was exhibited at museums across the United States throughout the mid-20th century. In 1969, the museum deaccessioned the work and, in 1971, the family of the Chestnut Hill gentleman purchased the painting at Hirschl & Adler in New York.
Condition: Unlined; no visible repairs or restorations; pinhead loss above "M" of signature.
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