Berthe Morisot 1841-1895

Berthe Morisot was born on January 14, 1841, in Valenciennes, Bourges. In 1857, the Morisot sisters received their first drawing lessons as a birthday present from their father. One year later, she studied under Joseph-Benoit Guichard. In 1858, Morisot and her sister Edma registered as copyists at the Louvre. Morisot was able to continue her art education through private tuition. Because she was a woman she was not able to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

In 1861, Morisot met Camille Carot, who was one of her first influences. In 1864, she showed her work for the first time at the Paris Salon. In 1868, Morisot and Edma met Edouard Manet and became very good friends with him after posing for his painting Le Balcon. Her first masterpiece, The Harbour at Lorient was painted in 1869. Morisot is best known for her painting, The Cradle, done in 1872. In 1874 she participated in the First Impressionist exhibition and in that same year she married Manet's brother Eugene. Manet became a big influence in Morisot's style. She had a technique in which she used large touches of paint, freely, in all directions. She mainly painted landscapes and scenes of women and children in domestic settings or in the outdoors.

In 1876, Morisot exhibited her work in the Second Impressionist Exhibition and in 1877 the Third Impressionist Exhibition. In 1878, Morisot gave birth to her daughter Julie. Because she fell ill after the birth of her daughter, she did not participate in the Fourth Impressionist Exhibition. From 1880-1886, Morisot participated in the rest of the Impressionist exhibitions.

Morisot is known for being at the heart of the Impressionist group, because she was one of the first members to help initiate it. In 1885, Morisot started hosting Thursday dinners for artists such as, Degas, Renoir, Caillebotte, Monet, and Cassatt. In 1892 Morisot had her first solo exhibition in Paris through Durand-Ruel, her agent, and the agent of many Impressionists including Cassatt.

Morisot died at the age of 54, in Paris, of typhoid fever in 1895.

Works by Berthe Morisot featured on this website:


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