The Child's Bath - Description

Description

In 1893, Mary Cassatt created the oil painting with two subjects, a mother figure and a young child. The genre scene is based on the everyday bathing of a child, a moment that is “special by not being special”. The female figure holds up the child firmly and protectively with her left hand while the other hand carefully washes the child’s feet. The small and chubby left arm of the child braces against the mother’s thigh, while the other hand is clamped firmly on the child’s own thigh. The mother’s right hand presses firmly but still gently on the foot in the basin, mimicking the child’s own pressure on their thigh. To indicate depth, Cassatt painted the faces to recede into space. The paint strokes are layered and rough, creating thick lines that outline the figures and stand them out from the patterned background. The hand of the artist is evident through the roughness of the strokes and can be better viewed from a distance.

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