Drypoint and aquatint, initialed MC, Mathews and Shaprio’s fifth (final) state, printed in colors, from three plates, an extraordinary, early experimental color proof, printed in dark apricot, dusky rose, blue, turquoise, green, brown, yellow, flesh tone, and black, on a sheet of old laid paper with watermark NICOLAS LE BE and crowned shield with letter B, annotated Y in lower-left margin
Cassatt sometimes experimented with daringly bold and modern color combinations in the proofs that she printed for herself before settling on a more restrained palette for her editions. Here, the intense colors surrounding the white smock enhance her vivid evocation of the child’s delight in a game of “pattycake.”* (The intended edition, in variations of the final color combination with yellow skirt and light green background, was to be 50 impressions.)
Catalogue references: Breeskin 160; Mathews & Shapiro 22
Provenance: Ambroise Vollard, Paris (acquired from the artist in the early years of the 20th century as part of her studio collection)
Henri M. Petiet, Paris (acquired from the Vollard estate)
Heirs of Henri M. Petiet, Paris
This superb and unique color proof is the impression included in the exhibition, Mary Cassatt: The Color Prints, presented in 1989–90 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass.; ill. p. 192, described p. 193.