76 (Breeskin 63)
Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Alternate title(s): At the Theater; At the Theater (Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge); At the Theater (Woman in a Loge); At the Theatre; Au théâtre; Au théâtre (Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge); Au théâtre (Lydia Seated in a Loge); Femme au théâtre; La loge; Lydia assise dans sa loge; Lydia assise dans une loge; Lydia in a Loge; Lydia in a Loge Leaning on Her Arms; Lydia Leaning on Her Arms; Lydia Leaning on Her Arms in a Loge; Lydia Leaning on Her Arms Seated in a Loge; Lydia se penchant sur les bras dans sa loge
c. 1879--80
Pastel on paper
21 13/16 x 18 1/8 in. (55.4 x 46.04 cm)
Inscribed lower left: Mary Cassatt
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Purchase: acquired through the generosity of an anonymous donor, F77-33

provenance / ownership history
Probably owned by Charles Ephrussi, Paris, by December 5, 1881
Michel Family, Paris
Suzanne Michel, Paris
Arthur Tooth & Sons, London
to Acquavella Galleries, New York, c. January 1969
to Elinor Dorrance Ingersoll, Newport, Rhode Island, by 1970
E. V. Thaw & Co., New York
to private collection
to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, 1977

exhibition history
1880 Impressionist Exh: #22, as Au théâtre
1970 National Gallery DC: #14, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge, lent anonymously
1978 Nat Collection DC: #2, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge, lent by the Nelson Gallery---Atkins Museum, Kansas City, Mo.
1979 Portland ME: no #, as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge, lent by William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Atkins Museum of Fine Art
1987 Nelson-Atkins KC: #69, ill., as Au théâtre (Lydia Seated in a Loge)
1992 Nelson-Atkins KC: no #, ill., as Au théâtre (Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge)

published references
Artist 1880: p. 117, as "décolletée young woman"
Baignères 1880: p. 266 in Berson, as "une femme dans une loge."
Burty 1880: p. 269 in Berson, as "une jeune personne au visage de pĂŞche"
Dalligny 1880: p. 274 in Berson, as "Cassatt abuse du jaune"
de Montagnac 1880: p. 302 in Berson, as "femme au théâtre"
Ephrussi 1880: p. 278 in Berson, as "une femme aux cheveux rougée"
Flor 1880: p. 280 in Berson, as "une femme vĂŞtue de gaze jaune"
Rappel 1880: p. 304 in Berson, as "une jeune femme rousse"
Silvestre 1880: p. 306 in Berson, as "femme en robe jaune"
Trianon 1880: p. 313 in Berson, as "jeune fille vĂŞtue de jaune"
Véron 1880: p. 318 in Berson, as Femme au théâtre
Huysmans 1883a: p. 290 in Berson, as "une femme rousse"
Sweet 1966: pp. 51--52, as "red-headed woman"
Drexler 1970: p. 10, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Bullard 1972: pp. 15, 28; p. 29, color pl. 4, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Bullard 1973: p. 40, ill.; p. 47, as Lydia in a Loge
Hale, N. 1975: following p. 24, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms Seated in a Loge; p. 167, as La loge
Chronique des arts 1978: p. 57, ill., as Lydia assise dans sa loge
Wright, M.M. 1978: p. 24, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms in a Loge or Lydia in a Loge Leaning on Her Arms
Roudebush 1979: p. 24; p. 37, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Getlein 1980: p. 22, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Love 1980: pl. 2, ill.; p. 27, as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms Seated in a Loge
Pollock 1980: pp. 9--10, 66, 80, 81; p. 82, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Havemeyer, A. 1981: p. 63, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Flint, K. 1983: p. 62, as "study of a . . . young woman"
Flint, K. 1984: p. 40, as "study of . . . young woman"
Lindsay 1985: p. 41, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Broude 1986: p. 89, as At the Theater
Moffett 1986: pp. 301--02; p. 304, ill.; p. 310, as Au théâtre (Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge)
Pickvance 1986: p. 264n77, as "'Jeune femme au théâtre'. . . . unlikely"
Gregory and Lyon 1987: p. 50, ill., as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms Seated in a Loge
Mathews 1987: p. 44, ill.; pp. 45, 47, 50, as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Herbert 1988: p. 310n10, as "the related pastel"
Mathews and Shapiro 1989: p. 24, ill.; p. 27, as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Van Buren 1989: pp. 147, 201n89, as Lydia Leaning on Her Arm, Seated in a Loge
Dillon 1990: following p. 84, ill.; pp. 189--90, as Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge
Effeny 1991: p. 60; p. 61, ill., as At the Theatre (Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge)
Adams and Stenz 1992: pp. 24; p. 25, ill., as Au théâtre (Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge); pp. 26, 350
Mathews 1992: n.p., pl. 2, ill., as At the Theater
Constantino 1995: p. 10; p. 30, ill., as At the Theater (Woman in a Loge)
Smith, P. 1995: pp. 70--71; p. 70, ill.; p. 73, as At the Theater
Gruitrooy 1996: p. 31, ill., as At the Theater (Woman in a Loge)
Pollock 1998: p. 129, as one of "[figs.] 108--34" [margin note]; p. 143, ill; p. 150, ill., as At the Theatre

commentary

A number of critics commented upon this pastel when it was exhibited with the Impressionists in 1880. For instance, editor of the Gazette des Beaux-Arts Charles Ephrussi noted, "A woman with red hair dressed in a gown of yellow tulle (and what yellow!), is seated in the shadow of a loge, on a red chair, before a mirror; her nude shoulders and arms are lit by a violet light with recollections of yellow, dissolved in a very bold harmony by a hand if not firm and skilled, at least light and delicate."[1]

Ephrussi (1849–1905), born in Russia to a family of Jewish bankers, moved to Paris in 1871 and began to collect Japanese prints and then works by the Impressionists as well as by Puvis de Chavannes. Apparently, Ephrussi came to own this pastel soon after writing about it in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts. His secretary, the young poet and critic Jules Laforgue, reminisced in a letter of December 5, 1881, about a work that most closely matches Lydia Leaning on Her Arms, Seated in a Loge: "How many happy hours passed working alone in your room where the note of a yellow armchair glowed.—And the Impressionists! . . . the dancer of Mary Cassatt in yellow green red blond, red armchairs, nude shoulders."[2] Ephrussi and Laforgue both appear in Pierre-Auguste Renoir's grand painting from this same period Luncheon of the Boating Party (Washington, D.C., Phillips Collection), 1880–81.

Elinor Dorrance Hill Ingersoll was the daughter of Dr. John T. Dorrance, a president of Campbell Soup and the inventor of condensed soup.

According to the catalogue for an exhibition held at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in 1992, "The drawing was punctured in the upper central portion on April 4, 1989, when a cable release was dropped on it during photography in the museum. It was later restored, leaving a very visible repair."[3]

PAI

[1] Charles Ephrussi, "Exposition des artistes indépendants," Gazette des Beaux-Arts (May 1, 1880), pp. 485–88. In The New Painting, Impressionism 1874–1886: Documentation. Vol. 1, Reviews, ed. Ruth Berson (San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1996), pp. 277–79.

[2] Laforgue letter in Oeuvres complètes, add full ref. including French. Laforgue (1860–1887) began working as Ephrussi's secretary in July 1881. He was also an experimental poet associated with the early French Symbolists. That he would describe the woman in Cassatt's pastel as a dancer is not surprising because her dress resembles the type of costume worn by ballet dancers in this period.

[3] American Drawings and Watercolors from the Kansas City Region, ed. Henry Adams (Kansas City, Missouri: Nelson-Atkins Museum, 1992), exh. cat., p. 350.

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keywords:
 leaning
 sitting
 theater
 balcony
 portrait
 sister
 red
 yellow
 dress
 woman
 chair
 looking right
 mirror
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