Summertime is an Impressionist-style painting by Mary Cassatt created in 1894. The artwork features loose brushwork and a bright color palette, depicting a riverside theme. Cassatt was the only American artist to exhibit with the French Impressionists and achieved recognition in Europe and the United States during her career. She was known for her paintings depicting the lives of women, specifically the bond between mother and child.
Summertime was most likely painted at Cassatt’s cottage, the Château de Beaufresne, in the Mesnil-Théribus countryside. Cassatt was born into an affluent family in Pennsylvania and studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She blended Impressionism’s light color palette and free brushwork with themes inspired by Japanese artwork and the Old Masters of Europe. Cassatt also directed her art toward themes of women caring for children, reflecting her cultural interest in child rearing.
Cassatt had a sophisticated grasp of the modernist technique of leaving areas of the canvas unpainted, as demonstrated in Summertime. The painting portrays a peaceful scene of a mother and child on a riverbank. The artwork is an excellent representation of Cassatt’s unique style and focus on themes of motherhood and women’s lives. Summertime is one of the artist’s most well-known works, along with others such as The Bath, Children Playing On The Beach, and The Child’s Bath.