Saturday, November 11, 2006


This is Mary Cassatt's famous painting LITTLE GIRL IN A BLUE ARMCHAIR and one of my favorites. I picture that this child is pissed off because someone told her she had to act a certain way. Wear a certain thing. Be excluded from a certain event. My cousin, or I should say my cousin's mother, used to send my mother hand-me-downs from the cousin for my use. Karen was six years older than I. Need I say more? Oh, but you know I will.


There was a particular coat/leggings set that had a horrible green velvet beret with it. I loathed the leggings--LEGGINGS!!! I"M KILLING MYSELF!!! NOBODY WEARS LEGGINGS!-- but the beret put me right over the edge. Even at that tender age, I did not look good in hats. My mother could not understand why I did not want to wear it. Horrible shouting matches took place every Sunday before church and when I finally appeared at St. Philomena's for Mass, I looked like a nineteenth century child labor victim, a young red-eyed psychopath. With a green velvet beret stuck to the side of my head with bobby pins, of course, because my mother always won.

Later when I was in high school, I wanted my hair to have bangs and my mother wouldn't let me have them. Can you imagine a high school girl nowadays being forbidden to have bangs? And putting up with it?

"If your friends tell you bangs would look good, they're not your friends."

Okay then, whatever. I finally cut bangs for myself and felt liberated beyond the stratosphere. She was right as it turns out. They didn't look very good, but I loved them and still wear them. Cheers for flat irons.

Anyway, Cassatt's little girl has got her skirt hiked up in defiance, to my eye. YOU"RE MAKING ME DO THAT? WELL, TAKE A LOOK AT THIS. AND I'M NOT PUTTING IT DOWN UNTIL YOU PUT THAT BERET BACK IN THE BOX.

Mary Cassatt was a great artist and isn't recognized enough, probably because her subjects were close to the home, as it were, mothers and children. You see her pictures in maternity wards sometimes. This is only my opinion, of course. Cassatt grew up and became "close" to Edgar Degas for most of his life. I hope he treated her well.

A bientot, Mary



At 8:21 PM , Blogger sandman1 said...

It does look like a skirt hiked up, though there's a bit of it above her right shoulder too -- maybe she climbed over the chair and slid down into it, pulling it up on the way. Her socks and something in her hair (bow?) match the dark pattern too -- shades of the green beret!

(I found a bigger copy of the image online:

At 9:45 PM , Blogger Becky said...

Thanks, SM. As usual, I can't quite get the pictures to work. I usually reduce the pixel whatever from 320 to 220 and that makes the whole thing smaller.


At 1:18 AM , Blogger sandman1 said...

On the contrary, I think the small size worked for this one -- you could include a link to a larger one if you wanted, but the small inset picture looks better than a giant version would have, IMO. I didn't have much trouble finding more info elsewhere to satisfy my curiosity. I was a little surprised to find it at a government site though, so I wanted to share that.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home