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Mary Stevenson Cassatt (American, 1844–1926)

Mary Cassatt’s flair for digging into an ordinary moment and distilling its emotions stands out in this portrayal of three individuals lulled by a carriage ride into silent reverie. Once titled simply Driving, the painting depicts an outing in the Bois de Boulogne, a large wooded park on the western edge of Paris. The driver of the carriage is Lydia Cassatt, sister of the artist, and the girl seated primly beside her is Odile Fèvre, niece of the painter Edgar Degas. The bored-looking groom is unidentified.

Usually associated with domestic interiors and the private lives of women and children, here Cassatt explored an outdoor setting and a degree of autonomy enjoyed by upper-class women. Driving in the park was something the Cassatt sisters enjoyed, particularly after 1879, when the family acquired a small carriage and Bichette, the horse partly depicted here.

Object Details

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