Paris: The Thrill of the Modern

Mary Cassatt: Woman with a Pearl Necklace in a Loge, 32 x 23 1/2 inches, 1879

To walk into the first few rooms of the exhibition “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity,” now at the Metropolitan Museum, is to allow oneself to be immersed in the sweetness of life in the Belle Époque. On the walls, one finds a ravishing woman in pink, painted by Mary Cassatt (Woman with a Pearl Necklace in a Loge), who smiles at the spectacle that surrounds her and also, one might say, at herself; a young woman dressed by Manet in sumptuous black, the polar opposite of mourning (The Parisienne), is the very picture of self-confidence; young women in white or pink are posed in gardens by Monet (Luncheon on the Grass) or we see them emerging from the shadows of the woods (Renoir’s Lise). The only soldier to put in an

Article source: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2013/may/09/paris-thrill-impressionism/

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