National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Fitting Mary Cassatt (artist)
American, 1844 - 1926
The Fitting, 1890-1891
drypoint and aquatint on laid paper
plate: 37.5 x 25.4 cm (14 3/4 x 10 in.) sheet: 47.8 x 30.8 cm (18 13/16 x 12 1/8 in.)
Mathews and Shapiro 1989, no. 9, State vii/vii
Chester Dale Collection
1963.10.252
Not on View
From the Tour: Mary Cassatt — Selected Color Prints
Object 6 of 12

In The Fitting, Mary Cassatt offers the viewer unusual insight into women's lives in the nineteenth century. A male artist would not likely have had access to this kind of interchange between a seamstress and her client, but as a woman, Cassatt knew the private domain of women well.

The Fitting is part of a series of ten prints that Cassatt created in 1891; together, they form an incisive document of everyday work. In this particular print, Cassatt explores the relationship between women of different social classes. The seamstress crouches over her stitching, her back to the viewer. Neither her face nor her hands are visible; she is essentially anonymous. By contrast, the mirror offers a double view of the young woman being fitted. Both her features and the nape of her neck solicit the viewer's attention. While the fabric of the young woman's dress is elaborately sewn and matched, the seamstress wears only a simple brown stripe. Both women are solemn, immersed in serious work.

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