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Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Etruscan Gallery

Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Etruscan Gallery

1879-1880

Edgar Degas

(French, 1834-1917)

Softground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and etching

Support: Cream (3) laid paper

Platemark: 26.7 x 23.2 cm (10 1/2 x 9 1/8 in.)

The Charles W. Harkness Endowment Fund 1929.877

Catalogue raisonné: Reed & Shapiro 51

State: VI/IX (only known impression of this state)

Impression: unique

Description

This print is one of two in which Edgar Degas depicted Mary Cassatt and her sister Lydia at the Musée du Louvre. In this iteration of the subject, Casatt gazes intently at an Etruscan tomb, about 500 BC, excavated at Cerveteri, the largest ancient necropolis in the Mediterranean. Cassatt is viewed from behind while the enigmatically smiling couple, lying on top of a sarcophagus and enclosed in a glass case, face the viewer. Cassatt confronts the sculpture directly while Lydia reads about it in a guidebook.

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