The Letter

Maker and role
Artist: Mary Cassatt, American, 1844-1926
ca. 1891
See full details

Object detail

Drypoint and aquatint
plate, 13 5/8 x 8 7/8in (34.6 x 22.5cm)
sheet, 17 1/8 x 12in (43.5 x 30.5cm)
Credit line
Gift of Margaret Batts Tobin
Accession number
Object type
Further information
The McNay is one of only a handful of museums in the world to have a complete set of the ten color aquatints Mary Cassatt created in Paris in the winter of 1890-91. The whole suite is a great monument to Japan's influence on Western art and printmaking, Japonisme.

The most famous image of the suite is The Letter in which Cassatt combines the color palette of Japanese woodblock prints - brown and blue, non-Western perspective (notice how the desktop goes off at an odd angle), overall patterning that flattens the image, and a composition that compresses the whole scene into a single picture plane.
Mary Cassatt: The Color Prints; Nancy Mathews, Barbara Stern Shapiro; 1989; 8
Modern Art at the McNay: A Brief History and Pictorial Survey of the Collection; William J. Chiego; 2001; p. 42
Signature & date
Signed l.r.: Mary Cassatt
Inscribed l.r.: Edition de 25 imprime par l'artiste et M. Leroy
Subject period


Public comments

Be the first to comment on this object record.

Google reCaptchaThis site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.