Berthe Morisot – French 1841-1895

Berthe Morisot Self Portrait
Self Portrait, 1885
Berthe Morisot was a French painter and printmaker who exhibited regularly with the Impressionists and, despite the protests of friends and family, continued to participate in their struggle for recognition.

The daughter of a high government official (and a granddaughter of the important Rococo painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard), Morisot decided early to be an artist and pursued her goal with seriousness and dedication. From 1862 to 1868 she worked under the guidance of Camille Corot. She first exhibited paintings at the Salon in 1864. Her work was exhibited there regularly through 1874, when she vowed never to show her paintings in the officially sanctioned forum again. In 1868 she met Edouard Manet, who was to exert a tremendous influence over her work. He did several portraits of her (e.g., “Repose,” c. 1870). Manet had a liberating effect on her work, and she in turn aroused his interest in outdoor painting.

Berthe MorisotMorisot's work never lost its Manet-like quality—an insistence on design—nor did she become as involved in colour-optical experimentation as her fellow Impressionists. Her paintings frequently included members of her family, particularly her sister, Edma (e.g., “The Artist's Sister, Mme Pontillon, Seated on the Grass,” 1873; and “The Artist's Sister Edma and Their Mother,” 1870). Delicate and subtle, exquisite in colour—often with a subdued emerald glow—they won her the admiration of her Impressionist colleagues. Like that of the other Impressionists, her work was ridiculed by many critics. Never commercially successful during her lifetime, she nevertheless outsold Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley. She was a woman of great culture and charm and counted among her close friends Stéphane Mallarmé, Edgar Degas, Charles Baudelaire, Émile Zola, Emmanuel Chabrier, Renoir, and Monet. She married Édouard Manet's younger brother Eugène.

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Berthe Morisot by Jean-Dominique Rey, Sylvie Patry (Foreword) – Hardcover: 200 pages; Publisher: Flammarion (January 11, 2011)

Art historian Jean-Dominique Rey’s new book, Berthe Morisot (Flammarion, 2011), with an introduction by Musée d’Orsay curator Sylvi Patry, presents a comprehensive tribute to the life and career of the remarkable French artist, from her precocious talent as a child drawing and painting with her sister, to her strikingly loose works produced during the last years of her life. -Women in the Arts

Berthe Morisot: Le Secret de la femme en noir by Dominique Bona – Paperback Publisher: Le Livre De Poche (October 15, 2002)

Reader review: Dominique Bona has produced a fine portrait of this woman who was the only représentant of her sex among the impressionists. Berthe Morisot had a close relationship with Edouard Manet (she married his brother Eugene).Along the way,the book lets you know the other artists of this movement: Monet, Degas, Renoir etc.The struggles of their acceptance is well documented. Nowadays,the literature about the impressionist school is abondant. After all,this was the beginning of modern art. Dominique Bona is a gifted writer who wrote other biographies and a few novels.

Berthe Morisot by Anne Higonnet – Paperback, 240 pages (June 1995) Univ California Press

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) was one of the founders of Impressionism. She was also a brilliant interpreter of femininity. Morisot's luminous images of women's daily experience tapped the resources of both a widespread women's amateur painting tradition and an elite artistic avant-garde. Anne Higonnet, Assistant Professor of Art History at Wellesley College and a noted authority on Morisot, describes the development of the artist's style, subject matter, and career. She shows how Morisot, by participating in the most radical art movement of her time, became able to express her unique vision.

Berthe Morisot: Impressionist by Charles F. Stuckey, W. P. Scott, Suzanne G. Lindsay Hardcover: 228 pages Publisher: Rizzoli Intl Pubns; 1st ed edition (October 1987)

Morisot was a gutsy pioneer among the French impressionists. As a standard-bearer of the avant-garde, she created a scandal by helping to organize a public auction of their works, something very few artists had dared to do. Defying the advice of her parents and Manet, she remained in Paris when Prussian troops besieged the city. In her artistic technique she was no less daring. Around 1874, in pictures of tourists and yacht-filled rivers, she broke through to an abbreviated, shorthand style ahead of her contemporaries. Disregarding her own view that Monet had taken landscape painting to its farthest limits, her late oils of gardens are brilliant fireworks of color.

Berthe Morisot: The First Lady of Impressionism by Margaret Shennan – Paperback, 352 pages (June 2000) Sutton Publishing;

Midwest Book Review: This biographical portrait of the first lady of Impressionism provides college-level readers with an in-depth study of Morisot's life and contributions to the art. Mystery and myth have surrounded her life and contributed to many fallacies: Shennan's research contributes to a very different view of Morisot's personality and achievements.

Berthe Morisot by Marianne Mathieu – Paperback: 264 pages; Publisher: Editions Hazan, Paris (August 28, 2012)

Over one hundred full-color paintings, graphic works, watercolors, and pastels are reproduced in this volume, and are accompanied by original commentaries that follow the artist's career from her training with Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot to her final work.

Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond by Ingrid Pfeiffer, Linda Nochlin, Sylvie Patry, Griselda Pollock, Anna Havemann, Pamela Ivinski, Max Hollein (Editor) – Hardcover: 360 pages; Publisher: Hatje Cantz (April 1, 2008)

The female members of the nineteenth-century Impressionist movement are usually painted out of official art history, although Edouard Manet, for one, testified to the talents of his friends Berthe Morisot (whose "Harbor at Lorient" of 1869 he so admired that she gave it to him) and Eva Gonzalès (the only pupil Manet ever took), and discussed matters of painting with them as readily as with male peers like Edgar Degas. Even Degas himself, notoriously misogynistic, invited Mary Cassatt to exhibit with him (she was the only American to do so); and Marie Bracquemond also exhibited at the Impressionist exhibitions of 1879, 1880 and 1886, despite the discouragement of her husband. All of these women practiced and supported Impressionism from its earliest days, when it was still a popular sport to deride it. Nonetheless, for Morisot, Gonzalès, Bracquemond and Cassatt, the chances of equivalent long-term recognition were predictably slim, and while their own individual oeuvres were too strong and too omnipresent in their own time to be entirely eradicated from the annals of art, they have rarely received due attention in the hands of subsequent commentators.

This stunning 400-page compendium, published to accompany the important traveling exhibition which goes to San Francisco in the summer of 2008, corrects this longstanding oversight, presenting these pioneering painters alongside each other for the first time, reproducing their oil paintings, pastels, watercolors, drawings and etchings and offering a cogent rebuttal of familiar Impressionist narratives.

Berthe Morisot: La Belle Peintre by Jean-Dominique Rey – Hardcover Publisher: Flammarion (March 24, 2002)

Berthe Morisot by Kathleen Adler, Tamar Garb – Paperback, 128 pages Reprint edition (October 1995) Phaidon Press Inc.

Six Berthe Morisot Cards (Small-Format Card Books) Paperback: 6 pages Publisher: Dover Publications (January 10, 2001)

6 of noted Impressionist painter's best-known works: The Cradle, The Mother and Sister of the Artist, The Butterfly Hunt, Hide and Seek, 2 more.

Berthe Morisot (The Q.L.P. Art Series) by Jean Dominique Rey – Hardcover: 95 pages Publisher: Crown (December 28, 1987) Text: English, French (translation)

Berthe Morisot by Hugues Wilheml – Paperback Publisher: Fondation Pierre Gianadda (July 10, 2002)

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