At the height of Impressionism, two women achieved the highest degree of artistic excellence, a phenomenon that had no equal in the literature or music of France at the time. One of those women was Berthe Morisot. She captures the tender, silent moments of domestic indoor life, where she portrays her sister and other relatives.
Berthe Morisot one of the leading female Impressionists. The daughter of a high-ranking civil servant, Morisot received art lessons from Camille Corot. Although she chose to become an artist, hardly usual for a girl from a good family, she was the antithesis of the peintre maudit (cursed artist). On the contrary, her paintings reflect her own tranquil, bourgeois background.
In 1857 Guichard introduced Berthe Morisot and Edma to the Louvre gallery where they could learn by looking, and from 1858 they learned by copying paintings. Then in 1859, she met Fantin-Latour, who would later introduce her to future members of the Impressionist circle. Before this, she had already made her mark at the Salon, winning favorable reviews for two landscapes shown at the 1864 exhibition.
Conventional success beckoned, but a meeting with Edouard Manet in 1868 altered the course of Morisot's career. She was strongly influenced by his radical style and appeared as a model in several of his paintings. The close link between the two artists was further reinforced when Berthe Morisot married Monet's brother Eugène in 1874.
Berthe Morisot proved to be one of the most committed members of the Impressionistic group, exhibiting in all but one of their shows. She concentrated principally on quiet, domestic scenes, typified by The Cradle, which depicts her sister Edma with their newborn child. These canvasses displayed Morisot's gift for spontaneous brushwork and her feeling for the different nuances of light. The Cheval Glass, the delicacy of Berthe Morisot's brushwork added a touch of lightness and an elegance to the Impressionist movement, of which she was a member from the very beginning. The light tones give the interior a diffused luminosity that suggests a psychological interplay of relationships.
In 2013, Berthe Morisot became the highest priced female artist, when After Lunch a portrait of a young redhead in a straw hat and purple dress, sold for $10.9 million at auction.
Art Movement History: Impressionism.
Artists Influencing Berthe Morisot: Camille Corot, Joseph Guichard, Achille Oudinot.
Painters Berthe Morisot Influenced: Edouard Manet.
She Traveled To England.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.