For the first time in over 70 years, Berthe Morisot, the major female figure of the Impressionist movement, has her own retrospective show at the Musée Marmottan Monet in France. The collection will exhibit paintings, pastels, sketches, furnishings, and personal documents that tell the story of Morisot’s exceptional career.
As an adored muse of the greatest painters of her time, such as Renoir and Manet, Morisot was the wonder woman of Impressionism. A grand lady of the bourgeoisie, an attentive mother, and an avant-garde painter, Morisot broke gender stereotypes in an exclusively male dominated medium, paving the way for many future female artists.
Morisot was born into a successful bourgeois family in 1841, and discovered her love of art through classes at a young age. With the support of her family, Morisot befriended instructors and artists alike making her debut at the Salon de Paris at the age of twenty-three. The beauty in Morisot’s work is that she painted what she experienced on a daily basis. Her paintings reflect the 19th-century cultural restrictions of her class and gender. She avoided urban and street scenes as well as the nude figure and, like her fellow female Impressionist Mary Cassatt, focused on domestic life and portraits in which she could use family and personal friends as models.
Morisot made her mark with compositions that fit into the Impressionist mold but was at the same time embodied with her own momentary styles that still inspire and awe today. So if you are in Paris this summer then stop by the museum and learn more about her life and work because you never know when another retrospective will appear, and her work is truly something to behold.
Suggested Manet artworks:
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