Berthe Morisot images and biography
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Berthe Morisot

See also: Impressionism; The First Impressionist Exhibition, 1874; Women Artists


Berthe Morisot, French painter and printmaker. She was associated with Impressionism. She was born in Bourges, the daughter of a government official who was an enthusiastic amateur painter and supporter of the arts. She was also the granddaughter of Fragonard.

She was taught in Paris by Corot (1862-8) under whom she produced delicate landscapes. She was also a friend of Fantin-Latour and met Daubigny sketching in Fontainebleau. In 1868 she met Manet, modelled for him and also became his pupil. Under him she began working plein air (e.g. Artist's Sister and Mother, 1870, Washington DC, National Gallery) and was introduced to the Impressionist circle in Paris. She married Manet's brother in 1874. She was an enthusiastic member of the Impressionist group, exhibiting at seven of their shows and collecting their works. She also achieved some Salon success (exhibiting there during 1864-73).

She experimented with seascapes but her personal style developed most markedly during the 1880s: sketchy, pale colours and subjects from her own experience including women, children and domestic life (e.g. The Cradle, 1873, Paris, Musee d'Orsay) She experimented with pastel and watercolour and continued to paint landscapes (e.g. Villa by the Seaside, 1874, Pasadena, Norton Simon Museum). In her later career her work moved closer to that of Renoir (e.g. The Dining Room, 1886, Washington DC, National Gallery).

Morisot has been reclaimed as one of the forgotten women artists of the 19th century (cf Cassatt) by feminist historians, and as such has achieved greater fame in recent years than she did in her lifetime.

- From The Bulfinch Guide to Art History

Berthe Morisot Images

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1869 Marine (The Harbor at Lorient)
1869-70 La lecture (Reading) (The Mother and Sister of the Artist)
1872 Le berceau (The Cradle)
1873 Cache-cache (Hide-and-Seek)
c. 1873 Portrait de Mademoiselle M.T. (Young Girl with a Parrot)
n.d. Un village (Le village de Maurecourt)
1881 Peasant Hanging out the Washing
c. 1884 In the Garden at Maurecourt
1885 La hotte (The Basket-Chair)

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