THE EARLY YEARS
On the Balcony, During Carnival 1873, oil on canvas; 39 3/4 x 32 1/2 in. (101 x 82.5 cm). The W. P. Wilstach Collection, Philadelphia Museum of An, Philadelphia. Two women and a man in Spanish costumes are shown on a balcony observing an unseen carnival below. This was the first of several paintings depicting Spanish characters and is indebted to Edouard Manet’s famous painting The Balcony, which in turn was inspired by a work by Goya. Cassatt was also deeply impressed by the Spanish realist tradition of Velázquez and Murillo, and through these influences her palette became more somber and the paint surface thicker. As in most of her later works, she already preferred the depiction of people to that of landscapes or still lifes.
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