The Letter

Mary Stevenson Cassatt, American, 1844 - 1926

Made in France, Europe


Color drypoint and aquatint

Plate: 13 9/16 x 8 15/16 inches (34.4 x 22.7 cm) Sheet: 17 x 12 inches (43.2 x 30.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Louis E. Stern Collection, 1963

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The suite of ten color prints that Cassatt created between 1890 and 1891 has been hailed as the artist's finest work in any medium. For these prints Cassatt adapted certain novel elements of style from Japanese color woodcuts, such as skewed perspectives, firm outlines, and decorative patterns. Even the demure gesture seen here—that of an envelope brought to the lips to be sealed—derives from Japanese prints that show a geisha biting a handkerchief flirtatiously.