Cassatt's first works in France incorporate popular conventional Spanish and Italian themes. Cassatt by the mid-1870s began to show the influence inovative new artistic aproaches--Impresionism. Cassatt arranged a few showings of her work in a few mixed exhibitions in America. They were generally favourably received by American art critics, but here unconventional style was not without critics. The rejection of "Portrait of a Little Girl" (1878) for the American section of the 1878 Paris Exposition Universelle reportedly enraged Cassatt. [Barter] This was an important contribution to the acceptance of Impressionism in America. Cassatt evolved her own very personal style. While ifluenced by Degas and the other Impressionists, she did not just copy their styles. One very important influence of the Impressionists was Cassatt's focus on the the minutia of domestic life. Although Cassatt never married, she loved children. She doting on her nieces and nephews as well as the children of friends. This emotional attachment shows clearly in her work. The loving intimate relationship between mothers and their children are among her most memorable works. Her focus on children as well as her innovative images showing the lives of women have made her the most celebrated woman American artist. These intimate domestic scenes were a major change in the world of art because many important earlier artists had painted works showcasing social movements or actual historical events. "The Bath" (1891) is one of her most well-known works using the mother-child theme. Other important works were 'Portrait of a Little Girl' (1878) and 'Children on the Beach' (1886). We also see a portrait of Harris Wittenmore Jr. (1898) entitled, 'Boy with Golden curls' The Whittemores were a priominent Connecticut family. Harris' father compiled an imoportant collection of French impressionist art.
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