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11th July 2024

Lydia at a Tapestry Frame (c1881) is one of the highlights of the Flint Institute of Arts collection. It depicts her older sister Lydia (1837-82), who moved to Paris to be Mary's companion, housekeeper and frequent model, totally absorbed in her needlework. As this article argues,"Cassatt...resisted the more usual decorativeness or sexual lusciousness involved in female subjects, the sense in which they are posing for the (primarily male) beholder’s sake...[and] creates the impression that the woman in the painting isn’t aware of us, looking at her; the point of the painting has nothing to do with the usual presentation of a woman to the viewer’s eye."

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