Artist: Edgar Degas (French, Paris 1834–1917 Paris)
Sitter: Portrait of Mary Cassatt (American, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1844–1926 Le Mesnil-Théribus, Oise) and her sister, Lydia
Medium: Soft-ground etching, drypoint, aquatint, and etching
Dimensions: Plate: 10 9/16 x 9 1/8 in. (26.8 x 23.2 cm)
Sheet: 17 x 12 in. (43.2 x 30.5 cm)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1919
Accession Number: 19.29.2
Among the most technically complex of Degas' prints, this view of Mary Cassatt and her sister in the galleries of the Musée du Louvre was intended, like Pissarro's Wooded Landscape at L'Hermitage, Pontoise (21.46.1), to appear in the first issue of the prospective journal Le Jour et la Nuit, on which the two artists collaborated with Cassatt and Félix Bracquemond. The group was intent on achieving new tonal effects in their prints by innovatively working up the surfaces of etching plates, perhaps spurred by achievements in Impressionist paintings or by advances in photography.