Mary Cassatt 1845-1926
- Mary Cassatt
- Two Sisters
- signed Mary Cassatt, u.l.
- pastel on paper
Sale: Parke-Bernet, New York, December 11, 1947, lot 166, illustrated
Edward A. Bragaline
Mr. and Mrs. Lester Francis Avnet, Great Neck, New York, by 1969
Kennedy Galleries, New York
Omaha, Nebraska, Joslyn Art Museum, Mary Cassatt Among the Impressionists, April-June 1969, no. 22, p. 40, illustrated
Art Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 4, 1964, p. 542
Adelyn Dohme Breeskin, Mary Cassatt: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Oils, Pastels, Watercolors, and Drawings, Washington, D.C., 1970, no. 259, p. 122, illustrated, also illustrated in color p. 123
Two Sisters is one of two pastels executed in 1896 which features the same two unidentified sisters in an intimate moment. Cassatt’s pastels of the 1890s focused largely on scenes of mothers and children but as Nancy Mowll Mathews notes, “friendship was [also] celebrated many times in Cassatt’s work of this period. From the drypoint of two young girls pouring over a document on the table to the pastel called The Conversation, or Two Sisters, these works have the same psychological intimacy as her depictions of mother and child. Poses and gestures that bespeak taking comfort from the presence of another are natural in both themes. The subject of female closeness was treated by other Impressionists, particularly Degas…In an age when female subject matter was favored, this was an attractive motif since it showed not one but two fashionably dressed women” (Mary Cassatt, New York, 1987, p. 109-10). The fully opened fan, an elegant and colorful element favored by the Impressionists, adds a decorative splash to this composition of two obviously stylish sisters.