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I need a good description of the picture "Two Sisters" by Mary Cassatt. I want to know...

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coole | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 30, 2008 at 3:13 AM via web

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I need a good description of the picture "Two Sisters" by Mary Cassatt.

I want to know which of the two sisters is Mary and which one is Lydia. I also want to know what the dark background behind one of the two sisters means. Furthermore I also want to know your opinion about the picture. What do you think about it?

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ladyvols1 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 30, 2008 at 9:30 AM (Answer #1)

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The  painting by Mary Cassatt  entitled "Two Sisters" is a beautiful work done to honor her older sister Lydia.  The painting was done as an impressionistic view so the background is earth-tones and could symbolise the familial relationship between Mary and her sister.  Lydia was about 7 years older than Mary.  Mary loved her dearly and used Lydia as a model for several of her paintings.  Lydia died of Bright's Disease at a fairly young age.  This painting shows the strong bond between Lydia and Mary.  It is a tribute to the bond and love between two sisters.  In the foreground of the picture is Lydia, seated, with Mary lovingly behind her sister with her hands on Lydia's shoulders.  It looks as if Lydia could have been reading something not included in the painting.  Never the less, Lydia is looking down with her left arm extended and Mary is looking off in the same direction.  If one looks closely at the image, they can tell the difference in the girls ages.  Lydia looks much older than Mary and the depth of the brush strokes and the complexions of the paint demonstrate the talent Cassatt had for impressionistic painting.

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