Mary Cassatt, a prominent American artist in the 19th century, painted Autumn in 1880. The painting is a portrait of her sister, Lydia, who was very ill at the time. Lydia’s sickness is reflected in the painting, which shows a fearful and grave expression on her face.
Cassatt was one of only a few women in the United States who became professional artists at that time. She was a strong advocate for women’s rights and often incorporated feminist themes and ideas into her paintings. For Autumn, she blended the light color palette and loose brushwork commonly seen in Impressionist painting with styles and themes inspired by Japanese art and the Old Masters of Europe.
As an Impressionist painter, Mary Cassatt often depicted the lives of women, especially the unique and special bond between a mother and her child. In addition to its profound emotional depth, Autumn is also notable for its technical mastery. The painting’s soft, muted colors evoke a sense of melancholy, while the moment that is captured feels perfectly natural and unposed.