21 (Breeskin 1102)
Alternate title(s): La jeune fille aux cheveux roux; Portrait of a Young Girl with Red Hair; Portrait, Said to Be of the Artist
Oil on canvas
22 1/2 x 17 3/4 in. (57.15 x 45.08 cm)
Inscribed lower left: M.S. Cassatt/Rome/1874
Last known when sold at Sotheby's, New York, 2010

provenance / ownership history
Ellen Mary Cassatt (Mrs. Horace B.) Hare, Philadelphia
Mr. Bender
to Parke-Bernet, New York, November 9, 1955, #72, as Portrait, Said to Be of the Artist
to Max Arthur Borden, New York
to Rose Borden (his wife), New York, and by descent in family
to Sotheby's, New York, December 3, 1987, #189, ill.
to private collection
to Sotheby's, New York, March 3, 2010, #128, ill.

exhibition history
1874 Salon: #326, as Ida

published references
Chicago Inter-ocean 1874: p. 2, as "a Spanish head (No. 326)"
Hooper 1874: p. 132, as Ida
Philadelphia Evening Bulletin 1874a: p. 2, as "fine study of a head"
Philadelphia Evening Bulletin 1875: p. 2, as "a female head"
Clement and Hutton 1880: p. 123, as Ida
Cortissoz 1923: p. 185, as "head of a young girl"
Paris 1944: p. 141, as "a red-haired damsel"
Cogniat 1951: p. 143, as La jeune fille aux cheveux roux
Newman 1966: pp. 46--47, as Portrait of a Young Girl with Red Hair
Sweet 1966: p. 31, as "portrait of Ida" (mistakenly identified as the same picture as Madame Cortier [MCCRC #?])
Hale, N. 1975: pp. 50, 55, 59, as Ida
Mathews 1984: p. 124, cartoon after Ida reproduced; p. 126n1, as "this painting"; letter: Emily Sartain to John Sartain, June 17, 1874, p. 126, as "washed-out affair she has in the Salon" and "her Salon head"
Seldin 1984: n.p., as Ida
Mathews 1987: p. 24, ill., as "Caricature of Cassatt's painting Ida"; pp. 29--30, 33, 35, 152, as Ida
Fink 1990: pp. 119, 197, 328, as Ida
Peet 1990: p. 13, as Ida
Gerdts and Dearinger 1992: p. 84, as Ida
Pollock 1998: pp. 10, 91, 110--11; p. 111, ill., as Ida
Webster 2004: p. 21, as Ida


Ida was Cassatt's contribution to the Salon of 1874. Emily Sartain wrote to her father of her friend's picture on June 17, 1874, "I told you what a washed-out affair she has in the Salon. . . . She says that her Salon head had a great deal of success among artists."[1] Cassatt told her first biographer, Achille Segard, that her acquaintance LĂ©on Tourny led Edgar Degas to this picture at the Salon, which prompted Degas to remark, "C'est vrai. VoilĂ  quelqu'un qui sent comme moi." ("It's true. Here is someone who feels as I do.")[2]

When sold at Parke-Bernet in 1955, Ida was described as depicting a woman in an "opal gown" and "gold-brown Italian mantilla." As noted in the Journal amusant 1874 caption of a cartoon after the work, the woman's hair is evidently red, "Ces rousses ont un Ă©clat" ("These redheads have a radiance"), and she is likely the same model seen in A Musical Party, which was also painted in Rome in the first months of 1874.[3]

The Breeskin catalogue raisonné (1970) contained only 943 works. All Breeskin numbers above 943 listed on this site were created by the Mary Cassatt Catalogue Raisonné Committee for record-keeping purposes and do not correspond to works in the Breeskin catalogue.


[1] Emily Sartain to John Sartain, Paris, June 17, 1874, in Cassatt and Her Circle: Selected Letters, ed. Nancy Mowll Mathews (New York: Abbeville Press, 1984), p. 126.

[2] Achille Segard, Mary Cassatt: Un peintre des enfants et des mères (Paris: Ollendorf, 1913), p. 35. Segard reported that Cassatt and Degas did not meet in person for three more years, and there is no evidence to the contrary.

[3] Le journal amusant, June 27, 1874, in Nancy Mowll Mathews, Mary Cassatt (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1987), p. 24.

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