Mary Cassatt, ‘Woman with a Pearl Necklace in a Loge Dans la Loge’, 1879, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Cassatt created a series of theater scenes in the late 1870s, displaying an interest in city nightlife shared by many of the Impressionists. This work, showing a woman (often said to be her sister Lydia) seated in front of a mirror with the balconies of the Paris Opéra House reflected behind her, demonstrates the influence of Cassatt's friend Edgar Degas, particularly in the attention paid to the effects of artificial lighting on flesh tones. This painting was shown in Paris at the fourth Impressionist exhibition in 1879, where it was singled out for much praise.

Bequest of Charlotte Dorrance Wright, 1978

About Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt is widely acclaimed for her intimate scenes of mothers and children, such as Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child (1880), that are painted with quick brushstrokes in a pastel palette. Invited in 1877 by her friend and mentor Edgar Degas, Cassatt was one of three women—and the only American—to join a group of artists later known as the Impressionists, which included Claude Monet and Camille Pissaro. Influenced by the Japanese prints she collected, Cassatt developed a refined drawing style that blended European and Asian effects, increasingly creating figural compositions, like The Letter (1890), with flattened forms and harmonious color combinations.

American , 1844-1926, Philadelphia, PA, United States, based in Paris, France