A Mother's Love - Shari Dougherty

This gallery is a collection of pieces done by an American artist, Mary Cassatt, during the Impressionist period and showcases the unconditional love between mother and child. Using a variety of mediums including oil paint, watercolor and drawing, Cassatt uses emphasis, color and line in her work to capture real-life moments of motherhood and create an emotional appeal for her viewers.

In this oil painting on canvas, Susan Comforting the Baby, Cassatt uses the elements of line and contrasting colors in the details of the faces and hands to emphasize the emotions of her subjects, while still capturing movement of the real-life moment in an Impressionist style, the combination of each creating a complete story within the piece.
Here is an oil painting done in 1889 titled ,Mother and Child, that perfectly depicts the relationship of her subjects. By using repeating colors in the skin tone and hair of the mother and child, it is clear to the viewer what the relationship is here, and although the mother's face is not shown, the comfort expressed in the child's pose depicts the security one feels in their mother's arms.
This piece, another oil paint on canvas done in 1890, uses similar elements and principles as the previous works. Cassatt uses repetition and color to emphasize her subject's relationship, this time adding a rosy tone to the child's cheeks creating a sense of warmth and once again capturing a moment in time and the beautiful tender embrace between and mother and her infant.
Mother's Kiss, completed in the year 1891, is a print created using drypoint and aquatint on paper. In this piece, Cassatt is able to use contrast and space to guide her viewer's attention to the center of the image, where she has used the same technique of color, repetition and line to emphasize her subject's faces and hands, and capture another tender moment between mother and child.
Unlike her work from previous years, The Child's Bath, an oil paint on canvas done in 1893, uses unconditional methods Cassatt learned from her practice in Japanese wood blocking. In this piece she uses a flat perspective, patter and color to capture a mother bathing her child.
Another painting done by Mary Cassatt, Child Picking a Fruit, shows the artist's progression throughout the years. Similar to The Child's Bath, Cassatt paints with bold colors and a flattened perspective, while combining her use of line to emphasize the facial features she is able to create that same emotional appeal to her viewer's.
Sketch of a Mother Looking Down at Thomas, is known as Mary Cassatt's most impressionistic piece. Using pastels on brown paper, up close it may look incomplete, but as you look further you will see her use of color and line in the subjects features, as well as repetition of color, once again, to show the relationship between the two.
In another print using drypoint and aquatint on paper, Peasant Mother and Child, captures a candid moment and it is through emphasis on the features of the mother's hair and child's face that combined with the color used in the clothing that leads the viewer's eye over this entire piece.
Mary Cassatt completed this pastel in about 1900, another depiction of a moment captured between mother and child, a loving embrace which is clearly defined with Cassatt's use of color in the faces of her two subjects once again creating a feeling of warmth and security.
The final piece of this gallery, Sleepy Baby, a pastel completed in 1910, Mary Cassatt's use of the same elements is shown again. Using color, repetition and line details in the hands and faces of the mother and child, Cassatt is able to give this work a sense of completeness while giving her viewer's a taste of the strong bond felt between this mother and her infant.
Credits: All media
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