Lot 22
  • 22

Mary Cassatt

250,000 - 350,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Mary Cassatt
  • Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother's Shoulder (No. 2)
  • Pastel counterproof
Pastel counterproof, circa 1900, on thin Japan paper appliqué to wove, framed

Catalogue Note

During the first decade of the twentieth century, Mary Cassatt took a series of counterproofs of her pastels, with the encouragement of the publisher and dealer, Ambroise Vollard. To create this counterproof, the printer, Auguste Clot, set a damp sheet of Japan paper on a pastel drawing and used a lithographic press to transfer the image to the blank sheet, without damaging the original. Jay Cantor notes, “Since the image was reversed, it became, in effect, an entirely different and original work to be confronted on its own terms” (Jay E. Cantor, “‘Vollard is a genius in his line’,” Exh. Cat. New York, Adelson Galleries, Art in a Mirror, p. 18). The counterproof Baby Charles Looking Over His Mother’s Shoulder (No. 2) is not a simply a reproduction of the original pastel, but rather a reconfiguration of the composition with dissolving lines and delicate tonality. For the artist, the counterproof may have served as a site of aesthetic reflection and experimentation, allowing Cassatt to see an earlier work from a new perspective. For the contemporary viewer, the counterproof stands as a mesmerizing work in and of itself, offering insight into Cassatt’s innovative artistic practice.