Berthe Morisot was born on this day in 1841. To celebrate, take a “walk” through the French galleries in our West Building to see works by one of the original members of the impressionists. Like many of her contemporaries, Morisot portrayed a wide range of subjects, including seascapes, landscapes, intimate interior scenes, and portraits. These four paintings, currently on view at the Gallery, highlight different periods from her prolific career.
Take a careful look at these four works, dated from 1869 through 1886. What do you notice about the evolution of Morisot’s style as a painter? 1874 was a monumental year for the artist. After breaking with the traditional Salon, she participated in what would be the first exhibition by the group of avant-garde artists later known as the impressionists. Though subject to the strict social norms for women of her time, Morisot painted scenes of daily life in a highly innovative and sensitive manner.
“The Sisters,” 1869, oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. Charles S. Carstairs
“The Mother and Sister of the Artist,” 1869/1870, oil on canvas, Chester Dale Collection
“Hanging the Laundry out to Dry,” 1875, oil on canvas, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
“In the Dining Room,” 1886, oil on canvas, Chester Dale Collection