National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Lamp Mary Cassatt (artist)
American, 1844 - 1926
The Lamp, c. 1891
color drypoint, aquatint, and soft-ground etching
sheet: 43.8 x 30.5 cm (17 1/4 x 12 in.)
Mathews and Shapiro 1989, no. 6, State iii/iv
Rosenwald Collection
Not on View
From the Tour: Mary Cassatt — Selected Color Prints
Object 3 of 12

Mary Cassatt developed this composition without reference to her other works, intending it to be executed specifically in the print medium.

By the third state, Cassatt was using three plates to transfer the etched lines and tonal areas onto the sheet of paper. This method helped to ensure that the various colors would not bleed into one another and that the lines would remain clearly defined. Cassatt placed aquatint on the three plates, hand painting each one to arrive at a large number of colors.

Here Cassatt's treatment of a domestic scene showing a single figure is unusual in that emphasis is placed on the nape of the neck, a symbol of beauty in Oriental art. Other Japanesque elements are the lamp table and the ceramic ornaments, as well as the echoing curves of the lampshade, fan, and sofa.

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Exhibition History

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