A talented painter, pastelist, and printmaker, Mary Cassatt occupies a unique place in the history of American art. She was the only American to exhibit with the Impressionists, and this early alliance led to her reputation in the early twentieth century as one of America’s major artists. The intimate relationship of mother and child is the theme most closely identified with Cassatt. She portrayed this particular pair, about whom we know very little, in six pastels, adopting her French colleagues’ practice of working in a series. The sketchy quality of the work, with its staccato strokes of pastel crayon and fresh immediacy, make it the most Impressionistic of the group.