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Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper

by Harriet Scott Chessman

ISBN 078624092X / 9780786240920 / 0-7862-4092-X
Publisher Thorndike Press
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

Harriet Scott Chessman takes us into the world of Mary Cassatt's early Impressionist paintings through Mary's sister Lydia, whom the author sees as Cassatts most inspiring muse. Chessman hauntingly brings to life Paris in 1880, with its thriving art world. The novels subtle power rises out of a sustained inquiry into arts relation to the ragged world of desire and mortality. Ill with Brights disease and conscious of her approaching death, Lydia contemplates her world narrowing. With the rising emotional tension between the loving sisters, between one who sees and one who is seen, Lydia asks moving questions about love and arts capacity to remember. Chessman illuminates Cassatts brilliant paintings and creates a compelling portrait of the brave and memorable model who inhabits them with such grace. Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper includes five full-color plates, the entire group of paintings Mary Cassatt made of her sister. [via]