I Always Loved You, by Robin Oliveira, is a novel that depicts the painter Mary Cassatt and her relationship with the painter, Edgar Degas.
Mary Cassatt, was a masterful painter, and a woman who belonged to a group of artists known as “The Impressionists”. That she was able to be included in the group, which consisted mainly of men. Few women were “privileged” to gain acceptance to the group.
The novel explores Cassatt’s career from its beginnings in Paris. She had moved to Paris from America in order to learn, hoping to become involved in the local artisan culture. It was there that she met Edgar Degas. He began encouraging her, and tried to help her gain acceptance in the world of Parisian art.
The novel explores, not only Cassatt’s growth as a painter, but also explores the relationship between her and Degas. It was widely known that they had an affair that included its ups and downs. It was a roller coaster ride for both of them. For Mary it enhanced her painting, through her emotional attachment to Degas. Her paintings took on dimensions of beauty that illuminated emotional content.
I Always Loved You also explores the world of “The Impressionists” of the time. It defines their commitment to their style, detailing their work in depth. Being an art lover, those descriptions captured my attention, and I thought they were vividly depicted.
As far as the relationship between Cassatt and Degas, it seemed to me that they were both in love with each other, yet they both had difficulty conveying their feelings to each other. Their frustration and intense moments were separate compartments within their minds, leaving each one to wonder about the other person’s love. artistic endeavors.
As artists, they were both brilliant. As individuals in a loving relationship, they seemed to have failed, not only each other, but themselves. I Always Loved You, is a novel that breathes not only time and place, but love and loss, loss of emotional relating.