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“It was at that moment that Degas persuaded me to send no more to the Salon and to exhibit with his friends in the group of Impressionists. I accepted with joy. At last I could work with complete independence without concerning myself with the eventual judgement of a jury. I already knew who were my true masters. I admired Manet, Courbet and Degas. I hated conventional art. I began to live.”
“The misunderstanding in art has arisen from the fact that forty years ago — to be exact thirty-nine years ago — when Degas and Monet, Renoir and I first exhibited, the public did not understand, only the 'élite' bought and time has proved their knowledge. Though the Public in those days did not understand, the artists did.”
“When I came to live in Paris after having painted in Rome & other places, the sight of the annual exhibitions, quite led me astray. I thought I must be wrong & the painters admired of the public right — It was then I fell in with our band & took quite another direction — ”
“In reply to your form of Sept. 16th asking for my photograph, I don't possess one, and it would be very disagreeable to me to have my image in a catalogue or in any publication. It is always unpleasant to me to see the photographs of the artists accompany their work, what has the public to do with the personal appearance of the author of picture or statue? Why should such curiosity if it exists be gratified?”
“One thing is sure, the interest in Art remains, the Degas sale will be a sensation. I am glad that in the collection of pictures of other painters he owned I will figure honorably, in fact they thought the two, a painting, & a pastel were his at first.”
Mary Cassatt, U.S. painter, printmaker
(1844 - 1926)
Full name: Mary Stevenson Cassatt.