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“The Child’s Bath” by Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt - The Child's Bath

“The Child’s Bath” by Mary Cassatt

“The Child’s Bath” by Mary Cassatt was inspired by Japanese woodblocks and depicted a mother or female carer bathing of a child. The female figure holds up the child firmly and protectively while washing the child’s feet.

The left arm of the child braces against the mother’s thigh, while the other hand is holding on the child’s leg. The painting reflects the dignity of motherhood.

Cassatt was heavily influenced by her fellow Impressionist peers, especially Edgar Degas. In 1890, she was struck by the prints of the Japanese woodcuts.

Cassatt was drawn to the simplicity and clarity of the Japanese design, and the skillful use of blocks of color. Japanese prints and Degas inspired the perspective in this painting.

Mary Cassatt

Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844 – 1926) was an American painter and printmaker. She was born in Pennsylvania but lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists.

Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children.

Cassatt enjoyed the wave of feminism that occurred in the mid-1800s, allowing relatively more accessible educational opportunities.

She became an outspoken advocate for women’s equality, campaigning with her friends for equal travel scholarships for students in the 1860s, and the right to vote in the 1910s.

As a successful, highly trained woman artist who never married, she portrayed women and mothers with dignity and the suggestion of a more in-depth, meaningful inner life.

Cassatt objected to being stereotyped as a “woman artist” and actively supported women’s suffrage.

The Child’s Bath or The Bath

  • Title:                    The Child’s Bath
  • Artist:                  Mary Cassatt
  • Year:                    1893
  • Medium:             Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions        100.3 cm × 66.1 cm (39.5 in × 26 in)
  • Museum:             Art Institute of Chicago

Mary Cassatt

A Tour of the Art Institute of Chicago

A Tour of Women in the Arts

Cassatt, The Child’s Bath

Quotes and Proverbs about Mothers

~~~

“God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”
– Jewish Proverb

~~~

“There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.”
– Chinese Proverb

~~~

“He that would the daughter win must with the mother first begin.”
– English Proverbs

~~~

“Who takes the child by the hand takes the mother by the heart.”
– German Proverb

~~~

“Mother is a verb, not a noun.”
– Modern Saying

~~~

“What the daughter does, the mother did.”
– Jewish Proverb

~~~

“An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.”
– Spanish Proverb

~~~

“A busy mother makes slothful daughters.”
– Portuguese Proverbs

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“Mother is the name of God in the lips and hearts of children.”
– William Makepeace Thackeray

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“What the child says, it has heard at home.”
– African Proverb

~~~

“One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.”
– Chinese Proverb

~~~

“A rich child often sits in a poor mother’s lap.”
– Danish Proverb

~~~

“A mother’s happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories.”
– Honore de Balzac

~~~

“Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; a mother’s secret hope outlives them all.”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes

~~~

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”
– Mark Twain

~~~

“All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
– Abraham Lincoln

~~~

Mary Cassatt and Children

Mary Cassatt: A collection including Children

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“There are two ways for a painter: the broad and easy one or the narrow and hard one.”
– Mary Cassatt

~~~


Photo Credit: Mary Cassatt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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