Mary Cassatt
American, 1844 ‑ 1926
The Child, about 1905
Oil on canvas
29 7/8 × 21 5/8 in. (75.9 × 54.9 cm.)
Gift of Mrs. Blakemore Wheeler  1964.22

An Unfulfilled Commission
In 1905, Cassatt was asked to create a series of tondo (round) murals on the theme of motherhood for the women’s lounge in the new Pennsylvania Statehouse in Harrisburg. Even though she had already painted two of these tondos, Cassatt ultimately turned down the commission, having heard of the rampant corruption involved in the building’s construction and wanting no part of it. The Child is a study for a third mural that Cassatt never completed.