During the spring of 2011, I was invited to paint in the garden of a château where the most famous American woman impressionist painter May Cassatt lived and worked for 3 years. The Château Tillerai in Bachivillers is about one hour south of Paris. Cassatt lived in this home from about 1891 to 1894, before she bought the nearby Château de Beaufresne, where she lived until she died.
The château Tillerai, where I painted, is now privately owned and is not open to the public. The present owners allowed me to paint in their garden for 5 months, and accepted a show in their home of the 16 paintings that were completed, all large format, oil on canvas work, painted in situ, in front of the subject, in "plein air". Most of these paintings were sold during the brief exhibition that was sponsored by the Friends of Mary Cassatt Association and the mayor of Bachivillers.
Although her garden there on the grounds has minimal care today, I could still feel her touch and influence in the park. During her stay at Bachivillers, she worked on and probably completed 3 large paintings, now lost, intitled "The Modern Woman". All three paintings are set in this garden where I painted. These were exhibited in the Woman's building of the Universal Exhibition of Chicago in 1893.