I could pick a dozen artists out of history that I admire but Mary Cassatt (1844 – 1926) is by far my favourite. I’ll leave it to Wikipedia to give you the FULL version of her story but here is a short overview: Mary Cassatt lived an extraordinary life for a woman of her time. The affluence and mobility of her family provided her with the ability to chose her destiny more freely. At an early age she set out to become more than the typical “lady painter”, she wanted equality and she pursued an art career in the world of men. She was born in the US and lived most of her adult life in France where she became connected with the Impressionists and also many other famous artists of the day, including Edgar Degas.
It is admirable that Cassatt pursued a career in a world ruled by men and even more admirable that she did not do so in a typical fashion. She stepped outside of the popular subject matter and art styles of the day and chose to reflect and celebrate the domestic lives of women using new impressionistic art techniques. She captured and presented, with respect, the experiences of the home and brought the daily life of women into the world of men.
I love her bravery and innovative tenacity.