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Artists Berthe Morisot
Berthe Morisot Photo

Berthe Morisot

French Painter

Movement: Impressionism

Born: January 14, 1841 - Bourges, France

Died: March 2, 1895 - Paris, France

Berthe Morisot Timeline

Quotes

"I do not think any man would ever treat a woman as his equal, and it is all I ask because I know my worth."
Berthe Morisot
"I wear myself out trying to render the orange trees so that they're not stiff but like those I saw by Botticelli in Florence. It's a dream that won't come true."
Berthe Morisot
"Real painters understand with a brush in their hand."
Berthe Morisot
"There I found Manet, with his hat on in bright sunlight, looking dazed. He begged me to go and see his painting, as he did not dare to move a step."
Berthe Morisot
"Men are inclined to believe that they fill all of one's life, but as for me, I think that no matter how much affection a woman has for her husband, it is not easy for her to break with a life of work."
Berthe Morisot
"Berthe Morisot's uniqueness was to ''live'' her painting, and to paint her life... she took up, put down, returned to her brush like a thought that comes to us, is clean forgotten, then occurs to us once again."
Paul Valery

"It is important to express oneself... provided the feelings are real and are taken from your own experience."

Berthe Morisot Signature

Synopsis

When the second Impressionist exhibition opened in the spring of 1876 in Paris, one sharp-tongued critic described its participants as "five or six lunatics, one of which is a woman." The woman, of course, was Berthe Morisot, who in spite of her gender became a leading figure of the most famous artistic movement of the 19th century. The label of "lunatic," however, was an aberration. Morisot cultivated her artistic talents and achieved success at an early age with acceptance to the Salon at age 23, and tenaciously held on to her rank at the forefront of French painters until her death 30 years later. Though frequently self-critical of her own work, and barred by social conventions from pursuing the same subject matter as her male counterparts, Morisot nonetheless developed the connections and familial support that enabled her to carve out her own independent career as an artist for more than three decades and leave a permanent mark on the direction of French art.

Key Ideas

Morisot was barred due to her gender from accessing the full range of subject matter otherwise available to her male Impressionist colleagues, particularly the seedier aspects of urban life - cabarets, cafés, bars, and brothels. Conversely, her paintings reveal her access to virtually all aspects of feminine life in the late-19th century, even private, intimate ones that were generally closed to her male counterparts.
Morisot produced canvases that depicted a wide variety of subjects including landscapes, street and urban scenes, nudes, still life's, and portraits. Like her male colleagues, she too developed favorite models - including her own daughter, Julie - and participated in the artistic exchanges of the period due to her connections within the Impressionist circle and beyond, remaining an innovator in painting up until her death.
Morisot had the good fortune to not only marry into an artistic family, but also to be wholeheartedly supported by her husband, Eugène Manet (Édouard Manet's younger brother), who sacrificed his own ambition in order to manage her artistic career. She exhibited a keen appreciation of public taste and as a result her works sold well during her lifetime and afterwards. Her talents and skill won her the public respect of her male colleagues as their equal - an achievement that was very uncommon for the times.

Biography

Berthe Morisot Photo

Childhood

Berthe Morisot was born to Edmé Tiburce Morisot and Marie-Joséphine-Cornélie Thomas in Bourges, France, in 1841. The family was well-off and her father worked as a senior administrator for the local government. Her mother was related to the Rococo painter Jean-Honore Fragonard. Morisot had two older sisters, Yves and Edma, and also a younger brother Tiburce. In 1852, the family moved to Paris, where Morisot would live for the rest of her life.

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Berthe Morisot Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Berthe Morisot
Interactive chart with Berthe Morisot's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Edgar DegasEdgar Degas
Jean-Honore FragonardJean-Honore Fragonard
Jean-Baptiste-Camille CorotJean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Auguste RodinAuguste Rodin

Personal Contacts

Édouard ManetÉdouard Manet
Claude MonetClaude Monet
Pierre-Auguste RenoirPierre-Auguste Renoir

Movements

RealismRealism

Influences on Artist
Berthe Morisot
Berthe Morisot
Years Worked: 1864 - 1895
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Mary CassattMary Cassatt
Eva GonzalèsEva Gonzalès

Personal Contacts

Édouard ManetÉdouard Manet
Pierre Puvis de ChavannesPierre Puvis de Chavannes
Camille PissarroCamille Pissarro

Movements

ImpressionismImpressionism
Post-ImpressionismPost-Impressionism
PointillismPointillism

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Anna Souter

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Peter Clericuzio

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Anna Souter
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Peter Clericuzio
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