I found a print of this Cassatt at a thrift store today. I went to the store to find a sweater for my son, told my kids we should step into the furniture section just to see if there are any paintings we like. Half hidden by a lamp is this work in a frame. I whispered, “Is that a Cassatt?” I squinted at the scribbled signature in the corner. “It is!” Louder, “And it’s only $5!” I grabbed it. My children looked at me funny. I explained Mary Cassatt. “She was an American Impressionist painter who liked to paint mothers and children.” My son said enthusiastically, “This one has both!”
I believe this was a study or a preliminary work for an oil painting. I love the abstracted rays coming from the mother’s fingers. I can feel the pressure of the child’s elbows. I have an elbow-leaner, too.
The picture is already hanging on my wall. My first Cassatt. I am thankful for art and beauty. I am also thankful for the mother-child relationship. I am thankful for the beauty in that relationship. What if God gave us washing machines or something to take care of instead of children? It wouldn’t be nearly so lovely. God gives us the right things.