Mary Cassatt (American, 18441926)
Oil on canvas; 29 x 24 in. (73.7 x 61 cm)
Gift of Mary Cassatt, 1923 (23.101)
The sitter of this painting is Mrs. Robert Moore Riddle (died 1892), the former Mary Johnston Dickinson, a first cousin of the artist's mother. Mary Cassatt began this portrait in 1883 and finished it two years later. The sitter's daughter objected to the size of her mother's nose in the picture, and hence, it was put away by the artist until 1914. When it was shown to Louisine W. Havemeyer in 1914, the artist was encouraged to exhibit it. It was shown later that year at Durand-Ruel Galleries in Paris, and created a sensation. In 1915, the painting was included in an exhibition of works by the French Impressionists held at Knoedler and Co. in New York.