Friday, June 21, 2013

Artist/Picture Study - Mary Cassatt

Sophia and Olivia studied Mary Cassatt and six of her paintings as part of their homeschooling art and artist study lessons. Below are the paintings that they examined as well as their comments. (The comments were orally shared after looking at a photograph of the painting for a period of time.)

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The Tea, about 1880.

Sophia remembered:
- The older woman is in a brown dress with white lace around the top of her dress and the sleeves.
- The other girl has a hat and little brown bangs.
- She has a little dress on and is drinking tea. She has tan gloves. As she's drinking her tea, her pinky is out.
- On the table is a tea set. It has a tea cup and saucer, and a teapot and a thing for sugar.
- You can see part of the fireplace. On it is a pot with a blue background, white clouds, and a dragon.
- The older girl has a brooding expression, and the other girl's dress is a darker color and the sleeves come a little past her elbows.
- One girl has her hair pulled into a bun.

Olivia remembered:
- The cups don't really go with the tea set.
- The vase on the mantelpiece is blue with gold trimmings on it.
- There are letters on the sofa that are kind of hard to see.
- One lady (Lydia) has an expression that says she's not in a good mood.
- The guest is sipping her tea. Her gloves are a grayish-green.
- The wall is kind of pale and has stripes on it.
- The table is's like a coffee table.
- The guest has a black coat. Her dress must have lace sleeves. She's wearing a hat.
- Lydia is wearing a brownish dress.
- Lydia's hands are kind of folded.

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Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878.

Sophia remembered:
- The little girl is slouching on her cushion.
- She has a little rosebud mouth and isn't smiling.
- She has one hand behind her head.
- On the chair opposite her is a little dog that looks like a small Girl Scout cookie with a black nose.
- The girl has a blanket draped across her chest and a little bit behind her back.
- She has black socks with flecks of red, green, and yellow.
- She has a black shoes with silver buckles on them.
- She is sitting on the chair that is blue with little flower designs.

Olivia remembered:
- The chairs are blue with different kind of flowers on them.
- The little girl's shoes have silver buckles on them.
- There are three chairs and one big sofa.
- The girls is frowning and looks like she is glaring at the little dog.
- The girl's socks are patterned. It looks like there are little red lines on them.
- The girl has a bow in her hair.
- The little dog has two pieces of fur standing up, but they look like ears to me.
- Her dress is kind of lacy.
- Her legs are kind of drooping.
- The room is kind of dull looking. There's not much color to it except the chairs and sofa.
- The dog is tan and black; and it is small.

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Pattycake, 1897.

Sophia remembered:
- The mother has brown hair and has big puff sleeves on her dress.
- She is holding the baby on her lap. The baby has a smile and you can see her little white teeth.
- The mother is holding the daughter's wrist and is looking down at her.
- The baby looks like she is about to clap her hands.
- She is wearing a little blue and white dress with what looks like a pom pom on the front.
- She has pretty curls that are golden in color, but a little darker.
- The mom is wearing a turquoise and green dress with a little bit of white in the front.
- The woman has a tender expression on her face.

Olivia remembered:
- The people's skin has streaks of blue and white paint.
- The background is black that turns into dark green.
- The baby's dress is white but there are blue paint spots on it. It's kind of interesting.
- The mother's hair at the top - you can see little bits of white up there for some reason.
- The baby's hair is golden - kind of like gold, but not as shiny.
- The mom is wearing a greenish-teal jacket or coat.
- The mother is holding the baby's right hand.
- The mother is looking at the baby, but the baby isn't looking at the mother.
The baby's mouth is kind of open.

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Children Playing on the Beach, 1884.

Sophia remembered:
- There are two little girls on the beach and they're playing in the sand.
- One of them is wearing a straw hat with a red ribbon.
- They are both wearing little black dresses with white pinafores.
- They are both wearing little brown boots and behind them you can see the water. Further out on the water is a sailboat with two sails.
- The little girl without the hat has a sand bucket between her legs and a shovel. She has a very determined expression. She also has long eye lashes.
- The other girl - you can't really see her face because she's turned sideways. It looks like she is shaking something in the sand.
- There looks like there is sand in the bucket and she is digging it out.
- The sky is a dark blue. It looks chilly because there is no sun.

Olivia remembered:
- The little girls with the bucket between her legs - her cheeks are bright red - or reddish - like she is blushing.
- In the distance there is a big ship in the ocean or sea.
- Probably ten feet away there are animals splashing in the water.
- The other little girl is facing or staring at the ship.
- The water is a dark grayish color.
- The sky is not really gray, but more of a purplish-grayish color.
- The one girl is really focused on the bucket.
- The girls are wearing black dresses with little white aprons.
- The little girl has a hat with a red ribbon on it.
- The sand in one part is a dark brownish color.

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The Boating Party, 1894.

Sophia remembered:
- There are three people in the boat - a man, woman, and small child.
- The man has a black jacket and a purple sash or undershirt and a black hat.
- The baby is wearing a pink dress, a little white hat, gray socks, and blue shoes.
- The woman has a white hat with flowers on it, a white dress, and it has pink triangles or diamonds with puffy sleeves.
- She isn't frowning, but isn't smiling either.
- The water is blue. But, it isn't just is dark purple in spots.
- The sky is a pretty blue and in the distance you can see a big mansion or house.
- You can't see the man's face because he's facing away from you. He has one foot up on the boat.
- The boat is yellow, but the trim on top is white.

Olivia remembered:
- The man has his foot on a metal plant that's in the middle of the boat.
- In the distance on land there's a small building, or maybe a big tall one, but I don't know how tall because I can't see all of it.
- The woman has a little baby on her lap but it looks like it wants to get down.
- Her dress doesn't look like it was finished.
- The boat is kind of yellow and the railing on the outside of the boat is white.
- In the distance is a big hill with sand all over it.
- The woman is wearing a hat and the baby is wearing a hat too.
- The water is darkish blue but some parts are light.
- The woman is kind of frowning...she isn't smiling.

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On the Balcony, 1873.

Sophia remembered:
- It's a picture of two women and a man on a balcony. One woman has a white shawl with flowers on it around her shoulders. She is smiling and has lilac-color pearls around her neck. Her hair is a dark blackish-color and she has a red flower in her hair.
- She is smiling at the man who is in the shadows. He is wearing a hat and is looking down at her.
- The other lady has a red shawl. You can see a little bit of her white dress peeking out from her shawl.
- She is looking down over the side of the balcony.
- The man has his hand on the marble side of the wall. You just see a little of each - so it's kind of intriguing - like where are they?
- They colors aren't really bright. There are little splashes of color. It's mostly just shadows.

Olivia remembered:
- The man is kind of standing in the shadows and he's wearing a hat and his expression is like, "Yea! My girlfriend is here!" I think they're dating.
- The other girl has a red shawl and her dress under the shawl has red stripes and she is looking over the balcony and she has in one of her hands a handkerchief and a fan.
- Her hair is also black and her eyes look kind of sad.
- On the other side of the balcony is kind of like a trophy.
- The other woman has a flowered shawl and is wearing a plain white dress underneath it.
- The woman with a patterned shawl has pearls that look fake. Pearls don't come in that color purple.

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Heidi Lyn Burke said...

This is awesome. Where did you get your prints of Cassatt's work? I recently did a study on Van Gogh with my preschooler and other than a few books from the library I was relying on pictures I got off the internet.

Rita said...

Interesting pictures to study! The girls are quite observant. :)

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Thanks, Heidi and Rita, for your kind comments!

Heidi, you asked about where I got the prints. I used three books from the library that were written for older children/teens. They had pictures of Mary Cassatt's work that Sophia and Olivia looked at.

We also read the books which gave us all a better insight into her life.