It was wonderful to have the opportunity to see these paintings at a time when the gallery was closed to the public. Instead of feeling like a herd of cattle, as one so often does when popular works are on display I had the chance to spend some time with these fascinating paintings.
One painting left a particular impression on me. I have long been an admirer of Mary Cassatt's work. She spent most of her career capturing moments of women and children in their everyday lives. She has a way of filling her paints with a hundred possibilities. Beyond the images she captures, emotions, stories, entire lives seem to jump off her canvas and into the imagination of the viewer.
Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
The name of this picture is Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, but really I think it should be titled, Alex and Gryffindor. I never thought I would find that sloppy posture and board expression enduring, but somehow, way back in 1878, Mary Cassatt captured that face and melted my heart.