In response to COVID-19, the Flint Institute of Arts is temporarily closed.

Learn More
Lydia At A Tapestry Frame

Mary Cassatt

American, 1844 - 1926

Lydia at a Tapestry Frame, ca. 1881

  • Not On View

Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 25 5/8 × 36 3/8 in. (65.1 × 92.4 cm)
Framed: 35 × 46 × 4 1/2 in. (88.9 × 116.8 × 11.4 cm)

Gift of The Whiting Foundation, 1967.32

In this painting, Mary Cassatt portrays her sister Lydia (1837–1882), who was eight years older than the artist. When Mary settled in Paris in 1874, Lydia joined her the following year as her companion, confidante, and chaperone. Lydia supervised the domestic duties of the household, which freed her sister to pursue her painting career. She was Mary’s preferred model between 1875 and 1882, the year Lydia died of Bright’s disease, a degenerative disease of the kidneys. Cassatt was the only American artist to be invited to exhibit with the French Impressionists. Unsatisfied with the rigidity of the American system of academic art, Cassatt left for France in 1865 in order to study the works of the old masters. In 1877, she made the acquaintance of the celebrated Impressionist painter Edgar Degas, who invited Cassatt to exhibit her work with the Impressionists.

Image Permissions

Explore Related Objects

Looking into the Hand Mirror (No. 2), ca. 1905
Mary Cassatt

Etching on paper

Garden Study of the Vickers Children, 1884
John Singer Sargent

Oil on canvas

Landscape No. 1 (The Forest), ca. 1912
Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac

Oil on canvas

Petite Odalisque, draperie verte (Concubine, Green Drapery), 1921
Henri Émile Matisse

Oil on canvas

Conflict, 1966
Adolph Gottlieb

Oil on canvas

Angel, 1610-11
Peter Paul Rubens

Oil on modern support transferred from wood panel

Turban Squash, 1976
Walter Louis Jones

Acrylic on canvas

Landscape, ca. 1880s
Hugh Bolton Jones

Oil on canvas