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Gallery Text

After studying in the United States and traveling throughout Europe, Cassatt settled in Paris in 1874. This work dates to a transitional period in her career, when she was still seeking official recognition from the French Academy. The deep-red wall behind the sitter can be considered part of that effort, as this work was painted in the same year that another of Cassatt’s works was finally accepted to the Salon, after she darkened its background. Three years later, at the invitation of Edgar Degas, Cassatt began exhibiting with the impressionists. She was one of three women and the only American in the group.

Cassatt frequently painted domestic scenes such as this one. The charming composition recalls eighteenth-century precedents, while the broad, sketchy brushstrokes highlight the artist’s divergence from traditional painting practices.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Mary Cassatt, American (Allegheny City, PA 1844 - 1926 Le Mesnil-Theribus, France)
Woman on a Striped Sofa with a Dog
Other Titles
Former Title: Young Woman on a Striped Sofa with Her Dog
Former Title: Girl on Settee with Black Dog
Work Type
Creation Place: North America, United States
Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2700, European and American Art, 19th century, Impressionism and the Late Nineteenth Century
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Physical Descriptions
Oil on wood panel
41.9 x 33.3 cm (16 1/2 x 13 1/8 in.)
framed: 58.4 x 49.2 x 6 cm (23 x 19 3/8 x 2 3/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: u.l.: M. S. Cassatt/Paris/1875
Acquired from the artist by Mme. Paul Inglebach through her sister, Mme. E. Vogt-Hélène; bequest to her son, Gaston Ingelbach, Paris, 1908; purchased by Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York, 1958; purchased from them by Mrs. Peter I.B. Lavan; gift to Fogg Art Museum, 1961.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter I. B. Lavan
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Adelyn Dohme Breeskin, Mary Cassatt: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Oils, Pastels, Watercolors and Drawings, Smithsonian Institution Press (Washington, DC, 1970), no. 45

Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, Peter G. Huenink, Earl A. Powell III, Harry Z. Rand, and Nanette C. Sexton, American Art at Harvard, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), cat. 88, ill

Retrospective of a Gallery: Twenty Years, exh. cat., Hirschl & Adler Galleries (New York, NY, 1973)

Nancy Mowll Mathews, Mary Cassatt, exh. cat., Harry N. Abrams, Inc./National Museum of American Art (Washington DC, 1987), reproduced in b/w fig. 22, p. 26; text p. 30

William H. Gerdts, The Golden Age of American Impressionism, exh. cat., Watson-Guptill Publications (New York, 2003), p. 48; Plate 14, p. 49.

Sally Webster, Eve's Daughter/Modern Woman: A Mural by Mary Cassatt, University of Illinois Press (Urbana and Chicago, IL, 2004), fig 5

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., Virginia Anderson, and Kimberly Orcutt, ed., American Paintings at Harvard, Volume Two, Paintings, Drawings, Pastels and Stained Glass by Artists Born 1826-1856, Harvard Art Museums and Yale University Press (U.S.) (Cambridge, MA and New Haven, CT, 2008), p. 59, cat. no. 32, reproduced in color

Exhibition History

American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972

Retrospective of a Gallery: Twenty Years, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, 11/07/1973 - 12/01/1973

32Q: 2700 Impressionism, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

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Collection Highlights

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