Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) ~ Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878 ✿

Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (Petite fille dans un fauteuil bleu) is an 1878 oil painting by the American painter, printmaker, pastelist, and connoisseur Mary Cassatt. It is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Edgar Degas made some changes in the painting.

Cassatt submitted the painting to the Art Gallery of the American pavilion at the 1878 World's Fair, along with another that cannot now be identified. To her intense annoyance it was rejected, although the other was accepted.
She expressed her irritation in a 1903 letter to the Parisian art dealer Ambroise Vollard, which makes it plain how much Degas had been involved (he also supplied the model, a daughter of friends of his): "It was the portrait of a friend of M. Degas. I had done the child in the armchair and he found it good and advised me on the background and he even worked on it.
I sent it to the American section of the big exposition, they refused it ... I was furious, all the more so since he had worked on it. At that time this appeared new and the jury consisted of three people of which one was a pharmacist!" Indeed, the painting is often cited as an example of Degas' influence.
The dog pictured lying in the armchair next the little girl's in Little Girl in a Blue Armchair is a Brussels Griffon. Cassatt was probably introduced to this breed while in Antwerp 1873. Degas presented her with a pup he had procured from fellow Impressionist Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic, a dog lover who bred them, and Cassatt went on to keep them the rest of her life.

The painting was purchased from the artist by Ambroise Vollard of Paris around 1903 for his gallery, and was later acquired by Hector Brame of Paris. It was sold in 1963 to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. They lent it to the National Gallery of Art for exhibitions and eventually gifted it in 1983 to NGA.
Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844-1926) was an American painter and printmaker. She was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (now part of Pittsburgh's North Side), but lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists.

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