Child Picking a Fruit
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In this scene, a mother holds her naked baby aloft to reach for an apple on an orchard branch. The pink of her dress and in the baby’s skin stand out against the healthy green background and the darker greens above in the branches. In the composition, the baby covers much of the mother’s face; this “untidy” composition makes this scene more believable as an insight into real life, which is uncomposed and genuine. Despite never becoming a mother herself, Cassatt often painted mother and child scenes. The artist was born into the 1840s wave of what we’d now called Feminism, which saw new liberties for women outside of the domestic setting. The artist, Bracquemond, and Morisot were described by Gustave Geffroy as Impressionism’s “trois grandes dames” (the great ladies) and their successes were unusual for women in the artistic field (which were few). Cassatt had a profound interest in the role of woman in society.