17 (Breeskin 937)
Roman Girl Smiling
Alternate title(s): Bacchante; Jeune fille romaine souriant
c. 1873--74
Oil on canvas
19 x 16 in. (48.26 x 40.64 cm)
Inscribed upper left: M. S. Cassatt.
Charles C. Hermanowski

provenance / ownership history
Wildenstein & Co., New York, by 1972
private collection, New York, by 1981
Berry-Hill Galleries, New York
to David Peter Bloom, New York
to Irving H. Picard, receiver for David Peter Bloom
to Sotheby's, New York, May 25, 1988, #159, ill.
Charles C. Hermanowski, Miami, Florida

exhibition history
1972 Walters: #25, as Bacchante, lent by Wildenstein & Co., N.Y.
1981 Isetan Japan: #3, ill., as Roman Girl Smiling, lent by private collection
1983 Nagoya: #54, ill., as Jeune fille romaine souriant, lent by private collection, N.Y.

published references
Art & Antiques 1988: p. 38, as "a Cassatt"


Cassatt signed Roman Girl Smiling without a date or location, using the name "M. S. Cassatt." She used this signature type from mid-1873 through 1877, and Roman Girl Smiling likely dates to late October 1873 through early June 1874, given its theme and facture. The carnivalesque figure is consistent with Cassatt's Italian subject matter, her Parma Bacchante in particular, and indeed may represent the same model. Cassatt stopped briefly in Parma while on her way to Rome in October 1873, perhaps long enough to revisit bacchanalian subject matter and demonstrate the lessons in paint handling and the arrangement of figures she had learned while studying in Spain and the Low Countries. In comparison with the earlier Bacchante, the head of the Roman Girl Smiling is more volumetric, the pose is more relaxed, and the pigment is applied in a more broad and confident manner.


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