Mary Stevenson Cassatt, known as Mary Cassatt, was born in Allegheny City (United States) on 22 May 1844.
From an old American family of French origin, Mary Cassatt always considered herself American, while not denying her French heritage, thanks to her love of art. The Impressionist painter made her first journey to Europe, with her family, discovering a style of French painting that would shape her future ambitions. She enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, on the eve of her sixteenth birthday, but soon expressed a desire to study art in Europe, while the Civil War raged in America. Cassatt set up in Paris, the capital of art nouveau, and allowed the Impressionist Degas to show her talent beyond France's borders. She eventually reached the height of her fame in the eyes of many of her contemporaries, through her series largely inspired by Japanese prints. After obtaining authorisation to work as a copyist at the Louvre and proud of her progress with Edouard Manet, she returned to the United States to open her own studio. Despite everything, Mary Cassatt spent her life between Paris and the United States, living off painted portraits of rich Americans and acquiring fame.
Mary Cassatt died in Mesnil-Théribus on 14 June 1926, nearly blind as the result of a diabetic coma.