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The Barefoot Child

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The Barefoot Child
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Mary Cassatt


The Barefoot Child

Creation Date


Medium & Support

pastel on off-white wove paper


28 1/4 in. x 21 1/8 in. (71.76 cm x 53.66 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth, in memory of her husband, Dr. Murray S. Danforth, Class of 1901

Accession Number



Public Domain

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Early in 1897, Mary Cassatt delivered three major pastels to her dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel. “Mere et enfant sur fond vert” went to the Musee Luxembourg and became Cassatt’s first to enter into a museum collection. “Nurse and Child” went to the Boston artist and collector Sarah Choate Sears and is now in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The third, “The Barefoot Child,” was acquired by American collector Alfred Atmore Pope, and later was given to the Museum. The lines in Cassatt’s pastels and prints are strong, smooth, but irregular strokes that reveal the constant decision making of her artistic process. While Cassatt had preferred the brush early in her career, drawing became central to her artistic identity in her maturity. One of the few critiques of her work she repeated in later years was Degas’s backhanded compliment: “no woman has a right to draw like that.”

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