Overview

This bold composition reveals the influence of the flat, patterned surfaces, simplified color, and unusual angles of Japanese prints, which enjoyed a huge vogue in Paris in the late 1800s. The dark figure of the man compresses the picture onto the flat plane of the canvas, and the horizon is pushed to the top, collapsing a sense of distance. Our higher vantage point gives us an oblique view into the boat. Its form is divided into decorative shapes by the intersection of its horizontal supports.

After 1893, Cassatt began to spend many summers on the Mediterranean coast at Antibes. Under its intense sun, she began to experiment with harder, more decorative color. Here, citron and blue carve strong arcs that divide the picture into assertive, almost abstract, shapes. This picture, with its bold geometry and decorative patterning of the surface, positions Cassatt with such post–impressionist painters as Gauguin and Van Gogh

This painting, one of her most ambitious, was the centerpiece of Cassatt's first solo exhibition in the United States in 1895. Her contacts with wealthy friends in the United States did much to bring avant–garde French painting into this country.

Inscription

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Marks and Labels

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Provenance

The artist [1844-1926] until at least 1918;[1] (Durand-Ruel, New York); sold 1 October 1929 to Chester Dale [1883-1962], New York; bequest 1963 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1895
Exposition of Paintings, Pastels and Etchings by Miss Mary Cassatt, Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, 1895, no. 1.
1917
Exhibition of Paintings by Six American Women Painters, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Cleveland Museum of Art; Cincinnati Art Museum; Kansas City Art Institute; City Art Museum, St. Louis, 1917-1918, no. 1, as Party in a Boat.
1920
Exhibition of Paintings and Pastels by Mary Cassatt, Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, 1920, no. 16.
1926
A Memorial Collection of the Works of Mary Cassatt, Art Institute of Chicago, 1926-1927, no. 26.
1926
An Exhibition of Paintings and Pastels by Mary Cassatt, Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, 1926, no. 11.
1928
A Memorial Exhibition of the Work of Mary Cassatt, Department of Fine Arts, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 15 March - 15 April 1928, no. 34
1965
The Chester Dale Bequest, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1965, unnumbered checklist.
1970
Mary Cassatt 1844-1926, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970, no. 53, repro.
1998
Mary Cassatt: Modern Woman, The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1998-1999, no. 77, repro. (shown only in Washington).
2010
From Impressionism to Modernism: The Chester Dale Collection, National Gallery of Art, January 2010-January 2012, unnumbered catalogue, repro.

Bibliography

1942
French Paintings from the Chester Dale Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 45, repro.
1944
French Paintings from the Chester Dale Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1944: 44, repro.
1953
French Paintings from the Chester Dale Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1953: 49, repro.
1959
Bouton, Margaret. American Painting in the National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1959 (Booklet Number One in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.): 34, color repro.
1960
The National Gallery of Art and Its Collections. Foreword by Perry B. Cott and notes by Otto Stelzer. National Gallery of Art, Washington (undated, 1960s): 6.
1962
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds., Treasures from the National Gallery of Art, New York, 1962: 172, color repro.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 294, repro.
1965
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Paintings & Sculpture of the French School in the Chester Dale Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 85, repro.
1966
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 2:500, color repro.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 20, repro.
1975
Hale, Nancy. Mary Cassatt. Garden City, New York, 1975: 258.
1976
Lipman, Jean, and Helen Franc. Bright Stars: American Painting and Sculpture Since 1776. New York, 1976: 93, repro.
1978
King, Marian. Adventures in Art: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1978: 105, pl. 67.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 33, repro.
1980
Pollock, Griselda. Mary Cassatt. London, 1980: 71, color plate XXVIII.
1980
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1980: 10, 17, no. 45, color repro.
1981
Williams 1981, 140, repro., 143.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 562, no. 856, color repro.
1988
Wilmerding, John. American Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art. Rev. ed. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1988: 150, no. 52, color repro.
1991
Kopper, Philip. America's National Gallery of Art: A Gift to the Nation. New York, 1991: 239.
1992
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 41, repro.
1993
Effeny, Alison. Cassatt. Rev. ed. London, 1993: 116, color repro. 117.
1994
Craven, Wayne. American Art: History and Culture. New York, 1994: 347-348, color fig. 23.25.
1995
Fichner-Rathus, Lois. Understanding Art, New Jersey, 1998, no. 15-34, repro.
1997
Hughes, Robert. American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America. New York, 1997: 259, 260, color fig. 156.
1997
Kelder, Diane. The Great Book of French Impressionism, 1997: no. 145, repro.
1997
Wilkins, David G. and Bernard Schultz and Katheryn M. Linduff. Art Past-Art Present, New York, 1997, no. 9-62, repro.
2004
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 365, no. 301, color repro.
2009
Gariff, David, Eric Denker, and Dennis P. Weller. The World's Most Influential Painters and the Artists They Inspired. Hauppauge, NY, 2009: 119, color repro.
2012
Kennicott, Philip. "French Rooms Reopen, With Different Accents." Washington Post 135, no. 55 (January 29, 2012): E25.

Conservation Notes

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