Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Discovering Berthe Morisot at Paris Museum

                                         Girl with Greyhound (1893) Musee Marmottan Monet

Last week while buying for clients in France, I discovered Museum Marmottan Monet had a special exhibition of the works of Berthe Morisot ( 1841-1895), who along with Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt were the great women of Impressionism. The crowds were huge and security tight....even special sensors to detect and prevent phones( definitely no photos allowed).

The large exhibition of perhaps 50 works was astounding....arranged to show how she developed over the years...landscapes, portraits, garden settings, boating scenes .... even large scale decorative painting for her drawing room in Paris.

Interesting that her art career started  at 16, when her mother enrolled her,along with her two sisters, in drawing classes...wanting them to create Christmas gifts for their father. Later, becoming a classical copiest of Louvre and then went to study with Corot, who started her painting outdoors..plein air. Later passing her love for outdoor painting to Edouard Manet, convincing him also to become  plein air painter. At 33, she married Edouard Manet's younger brother, Eugene Manet.

Like Mary Cassatt, Morisot focused on domestic life and portraits.... using family and friends as models.
Her sister, Edma, and only daughter, Julie, were often subjects of her works....it is Julie in the above painting with her whippet.

Morisot died at only 54......while caring for her daughter, Julie, with pneumonia...Morisot also developed pneumonia and could not recover. 

1 comment:

  1. I pondered to myself recently what were the most important things in my life. The answer seems to be clear that art was up there in importance. Why? Frankly, I don't really know. May be someone here can enlighten me?
    As was my wont w
    hen I have some free time, I browsed the marvelous site, wahooart.com, where they keep thousands of digital images for customers to select to have printed into handsome canvas prints for their homes.
    This image jumped out to jolt my reveries: Still life with bread, by the Cubist Georges Braque. Is art like this picture, as essential as bread and water, or should I say bread and wine?


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