Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot was born in 1841 into a respected Parisian haute bourgeoisie family. She studied informally under Corot, and exhibited in the Salon from 1864 to 1868, receiving encouraging reviews. In late 1867 or 1868 Henri Fantin-Latour introduced her to Edouard Manet, for whom she modelled, and who became her close friend. In December 1874 she married his brother Eugène. She was a committed member of the Impressionist group and exhibited at all the Impressionist exhibitions except the fourth. Her work was handled by the dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, although she was never financially dependent on sales. Her home was a meeting-place for intellectuals and artists, including Renoir, Degas, Mary Cassatt and Stéphane Mallarmé. Morisot’s gender and social class excluded her from training at an art school, from participation in the life of the cafés, and from much social contact and observation. Many of her paintings represent scenes of charming bourgeois domesticity featuring members of her family, especially her daughter. Morisot executed pastels and watercolours throughout her life, as well as lithographs and drypoints around the years 1888 to 1890. In her last years she favoured suggestive and mythic subjects and increased linearity in drawing.