Description

    Mary Cassatt Autograph Letter Signed, circa 1892. One page, two-sided, in French on her personal mourning stationery, 5" x 6.5", "10, Rue de Marignan, Paris," n.d. [Wednesday"]. This enigmatic letter is addressed to an unknown correspondent, and translates, in full: "Your letter from this morning tells me that you are no longer in Paris and therefore cannot take care of Madame Lepine's affairs. Since her daughter is now in the process of earning a living, I shall send Madame Lepine a sum for her to pay off her debts and a bit of money until the sale. But I am nevertheless decided not to give her anything more than I promised. If you only knew what that sum could do for some poor families of workers! It would save children from death. I have no sympathy for those who are capable of working but do not wish to do so. You know that you told me that Madame Lepine and her brothers are not able to do anything. But it is obvious that when it is a question of working or doing something for friends, nothing is ever done. I hope that you will have a nice stay in the Midi. I have not had a reply from Madame Ernest Rouart about the copy of Corot, but I will no doubt have a reply one of these days."

    Mary Stevenson Cassatt was an American painter and printmaker who lived much of her adult life in France. Her father, Robert Simpson Cassat (later Cassatt), was a politician, stockbroker, land speculator, and founder of the Philadelphia banking house of Lloyd, Cassatt & Co. Mary's brother, Alexander J. Cassatt, was the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad from 1899 to 1906. Letter is likely dated following her father's death on Dec. 9, 1891, and possibly prior to February 17, 1892, when Cassatt departed Paris for the South of France. The artist's fiery temper is evident in this mysterious letter, revealing an impressive work ethic and compassion for those unable to do for themselves. Madame Lepine cannot be identified; Madame Rouart is a reference to Julie Manet, the daughter and only child of artist Berthe Morisot and Eugene Manet (younger brother of painter Édouard Manet), who married Ernest Rouart, grandson of painter Henri Rouart. The "copy of Corot" is a reference to an unknown work by French landscape painter Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot. Letter is in very fine condition and suitable for prominent display.


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    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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