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The Coiffure (Etude, Femme se coiffant)

A native of Pennsylvania, Mary Cassatt began her formal training as a painter in 1861 and spent most of her life and career in Paris. Edgar Degas saw her work and asked her to show with the Impressionists, after which Cassatt’s subject matter began to reflect more scenes of contemporary life, particularly of her own domestic environment. Degas also encouraged her to try printmaking. She produced more than 220 prints and is particularly noted for her innovative color prints. This rare print is part of a series of ten works in an edition of 25 impressions that reflect Cassatt’s interest in Japanese techniques, compositions, and subjects after seeing an exhibition of ukiyo-e woodcuts in 1890. She particularly admired Kitagawa Utamaro’s scenes of courtesans in their daily activities, which she modernized through the use of an intaglio technique and with her family and friends as models.

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection also includes a large lithograph by Cassatt of a young girl wearing a bonnet and coat (Eskenazi Museum of Art 81.31.28).

Mary Cassatt
American (active in France), 1844–1926
The Coiffure (Etude, Femme se coiffant)
1890–91
Color aquatint and drypoint on paper
Image/plate: 14 ½ x 10 9/16 in. (26.8 x 26.8 cm); sheet: 17 1/8 x 11 15/16 in. (43.5 x 30.3 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 76.145