Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day From Mary Cassatt

I have always loved the paintings of Mary Cassatt. She was an American painter who studied with the Impressionists in Paris, and became accepted by them as one of their group. Like John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt painted wonderful pictures of families, and in particular, mothers and children.  She did not have children of her own, and often her paintings of mothers and children were over-sentimentalized.  They are tableaux of perfect children, frozen in time.  Anyone who is a mother knows those moments are fairly rare -- children are usually little balls of energy, always moving.  But the quiet moments are how we remember our children in our mind's eye, and Mary Cassatt managed to capture those moments perfectly.  In this painting, the little girl is holding a dog, and the baby is enchanted with it.  You can see that at any moment, the dog will jump off the stool, the little girl will leap after it, and the baby will clap his hands with joy.  But for just this moment, they are all still and quiet.

To all the mothers and mothers-to-be (you know who you are) HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.

16 comments:

Elise said...

I love Mary Cassatt. We had an American Impressionist exhibition here last year and it was wonderful, there were a few there of hers, I think her paintings are just beautiful. They are quite serene.

Keanda said...

Still and quiet... In recognition of the little realities that display that tangible love they share. Still because one wants to treasure a moment hanging in an eternity, one tiny little second that will soon pass and may or may not be forgotten with the grinding on of years when the clockwork starts getting rusty. Quiet, perhaps of an illogical paranoia that the very sound of one's voice may just shatter the genteel peace that reigns ephemerally.
The little things are the moments; the moments are the little things; and all of these are what makes us. I see truth and trust and freedom and soaring extremes of a quiet love.
Thank you for sharing, and thank you all mothers for giving so much.

~ Keanda
http://thecarbonatom.blogspot.com

PinkPanthress said...

Though I am not a mother as of yet, there are moments where I think that it must be one of the most beautiful things in the World. :) Just sometimes...

Happy Mother's Day!

Katy said...

I love Mary Cassatt paintings. She is one of my favoriate impressionist. There is something so tender about the mother's in her paintings. With each one its seems like love is just leaping off the canvous.

Happy Mother's day Jo!

Sam Liu said...

Wonderful post, Jo. I love Cassatt's work, for me, it truly captures the essence of Art - a moment of a different sort of life, a sort which plays with a different rhythm than our own, suspended in Beauty. Happy Mother's day to all the mums out there! :)

DJan said...

Our memories of our children are idealized like this, at least mine are. And my memories of my mother are filled with love, just like Mary's paintings are. So in a way, those idealized moments live eternally. Thanks for sharing these, and Happy Mother's Day to you and yours.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Happy Mother's Day to you! My favorite "moments" of motherhood were those times when I was holding a sleepy child and felt them let go as they fell into a deep sleep. Such a sweet weight in my arms......

Claudia said...

I also love Mary Cassatt. She has an amazing way of humanizing everyone.

Happy Mother's Day, Jo! :) I hope you have a fabulous day!

Paula Slade said...

Thank you Jo, and Happy Mother's Day to you too!

Carol said...

Happy Mother's Day Jo! Perfect choice for todays blog and a heartwarming scene for us to enjoy. Hope your day is delightful.

Whitney Lee said...

Happy Mother's Day to you, Jo. You are so right, there simply aren't very many calm, quiet moments in motherhood! That must be why the ones that are become so very precious. I never can decide which I love best, those sweet sleepy moments or the ones where her happy laughter fills the room.

I tend to take pictures of everything, including the less than pleasant moments, because I want to be able to look back and remember it all!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Happy Mother's and Grandmother's day, Jo! I love Mary Cassatt, too. Her work is both strong and delicate.

The DeJong Museum in Golden Gate Park is featuring an Impressionist exhibit which just started, and will run for several months. I can't wait to see it!

TomCat said...

Happy Mothers Day!

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Indian Pundit said...

Dear Jo

Honestly because of posts like these i ABSOLUTELY LOVE your blog.

Happy Mother's Day to all moms of this beautiful world including my own.

Cheers

Marlene said...

Happy Mother's Day Jo
Good blog subject today.