Mary Cassatt was an American impressionist painter who depicted the lives of women, chiefly the intimate bond between mother and child. Her works are painted with quick brushstrokes in a pastel palette. Invited in 1877 by her friend and mentor Edgar Degas, Cassatt was one of three women—and the only American—to join a group of artists later known as the Impressionists, which included Claude Monet and Camille Pissaro. Influenced by the Japanese prints she collected, Cassatt developed a refined drawing style that blended European and Asian effects, increasingly creating figural compositions, like The Letter (1890), with flattened forms and harmonious color combinations.
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