… sassy, confident and alive …
How I love this portrait of Berthe Morisot! She looks sassy, confident and alive. It was painted by her friend, colleague and perhaps lover, Edouard Manet, in 1873 when she was 32 years old.
In 1868, the year they met, Edouard was eight years old than the 27 year old Berthe and he was already married. He joked in a letter to Fantin-Latour: “The young Morisot girls are charming. It’s annoying that they are not men…they could serve the cause of painting by each marrying a member of the French Academy & sowing discord in the camp of those dotards, though that would be asking for considerable self-sacrifice.”” * She married his brother, Eugene, in 1874 .
Berthe Morisot (January 14, 1841 – March 2, 1895) was a leading pioneer of Impressionism though her work and her influence lacks the attention of her peers because of the social context of her time and also the prejudices of later art criticism. She chose to use her maiden name and exhibited regularly alongside her more famous colleagues. In 1890, Berthe Morisot confided in a notebook: “I don’t think there has ever been a man who treated a woman as an equal, and that’s all I would have asked, for I know I’m worth as much as they.” **
In fact her story is so intriguing, Berthe has taken over this post – which I thought was going to be about the painter, Manet. (Photo, c. 1870)
Portrait of Berthe Morisot, 1882, (Marmottan Monet museum) by Édouard Manet (23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883)
There is a very interesting and detailed blog about Berthe and her relationship with Manet at Julie Schauer’s Artventures.
The Marmottan Monet museum’s website is http://www.marmottan.fr/
* Jeffrey Meyers: The Impresionist Quartet: The Intimate genius of Manet and Morisot, Degas and Cassat.
** Review by: Therese Dolan in Woman’s Art Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Autumn, 1994 – Winter, 1995), pp. 40-43 – Perspectives on Morisot by Teri J. Edelstein; Berthe Morisot by Anne Higonnet; Berthe Morisot’s Images of Women by Anne Higonnet.