Drypoint and aquatint, Mathews and Shapiro’s fourth (final) state, printed in colors, from three plates, a fine impression, printed with different and lighter tones on the face of the mother and on the child, but with later, twilight effects in the darker background, on laid paper with watermarks Adriaan Rogge and fleur-de-lis in crowned shield, annotated M at lower left
In this bold composition, with the large-scale figures silhouetted against a park-like landscape, Cassatt used a technique of parallel hatching reminiscent of Renaissance silverpoint drawings to shade and give volume to the figures. Her monotype inking enabled her to vary elements of the composition in each impression, most notably in the reflections on the water. The varying quality of light on the figures and background, suggestive of different times of day, is also determined by her manipulation of inks on the plates for each impression.
Catalogue references: Breeskin 161; Mathews & Shapiro 21
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