Mary Cassatt at the Louvre (1879-1880). Edgar Degas (French, Impressionism, 1834-1917). Pastel, etching, softground etching, and aquatint. The Cleveland Museum of Art.
Like contemporary realist novelists Émile Zola and Gustave Flaubert, Degas rendered an objective picture of urban life, often concentrating on images of women in society. He was preoccupied with portraying the characteristic lighting of specific settings, such as the slightly murky illumination of the Louvre gallery, where artificial lights create dramatic patterns of light and shadow.