|Birth Day:||January 14, 1841|
|Death Date:||Mar 2, 1895 (age 54)|
As per our current Database, Berthe Morisot died on Mar 2, 1895 (age 54).
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After studying under painters Camille Corot and Achille Oudinot, she exhibited two of her early landscape paintings at the 1864 Salon de Paris.
Morisot was born in Bourges, France, into an affluent bourgeois family. Her father, Edmé Tiburce Morisot, was the prefect (senior administrator) of the department of Cher. He also studied architecture at École des Beaux Arts. Her mother, Marie-Joséphine-Cornélie Thomas, was the great-niece of Jean-Honoré Fragonard, one of the most prolific Rococo painters of the ancien régime. She had two older sisters, Yves (1838–1893) and Edma (1839–1921), plus a younger brother, Tiburce, born in 1848. The family moved to Paris in 1852, when Morisot was a child.
It was commonplace for daughters of bourgeois families to receive art education, so Berthe and her sisters Yves and Edma were taught privately by Geoffroy-Alphonse Chocarne and Joseph Guichard. Morisot and her sisters initially started taking lessons so that they could each make a drawing for their father for his birthday. In 1857 Guichard, who ran a school for girls in Rue des Moulins, introduced Berthe and Edma to the Louvre gallery where from 1858 they learned by copying paintings. The Morisots were not only forbidden to work at the museum unchaperoned, but they were also totally barred from formal training. Guichard also introduced them to the works of Gavarni.
As a copyist at the Louvre, Morisot met and befriended other artists such as Manet and Monet. In 1861 she was introduced to Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, the pivotal landscape painter of the Barbizon school who also excelled in figure painting. Under Corot's influence she took up the plein air (outdoors) method of working. By 1863 she was studying under Achille Oudinot [fr], another Barbizon painter. In the winter of 1863–64 she studied sculpture under Aimé Millet, but none of her sculpture is known to survive.
Morisot's first appearance in the Salon de Paris came at the age of twenty-three in 1864, with the acceptance of two landscape paintings. She continued to show regularly in the Salon, to generally favorable reviews, until 1873, the year before the first Impressionist exhibition. She exhibited with the Impressionists from 1874 onwards, only missing the exhibition in 1878 when her daughter was born.
Her sister Yves married Theodore Gobillard, a tax inspector, in 1866 and was painted by Edgar Degas as Mrs Theodore Gobillard (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City).
Morisot came from an eminent family, the daughter of a government official and the great-niece of a famous Rococo artist Jean-Honoré Fragonard. She met her longtime friend and colleague, Édouard Manet, in 1868. By the introduction of Manet, Morisot was married to Édouard's brother, Eugène Manet in 1874. On November 14, 1878, she gave birth to her only child, Julie, who posed frequently for her mother and other Impressionist artists, including Renoir and her uncle Édouard.
Morisot's mature career began in 1872. She found an audience for her work with Durand-Ruel, the private dealer, who bought twenty-two paintings. In 1877, she was described by the critic for Le Temps as the "one real Impressionist in this group." She chose to exhibit under her full maiden name instead of using a pseudonym or her married name. As her skill and style improved, many began to rethink their opinion toward Morisot. In the 1880 exhibition, many reviews judged Morisot among the best, even including Le Figaro critic Albert Wolff.
During Morisot's 1874 exhibition with the Impressionists, such as Monet and Manet, Le Figaro critic Albert Wolff noted that the Impressionists consisted of "five or six lunatics of which one is a woman...[whose] feminine grace is maintained amid the outpourings of a delirious mind."
Morisot's work sold comparatively well. She achieved the two highest prices at a Hôtel Drouot auction in 1875, the Interior (Young Woman with Mirror) sold for 480 francs, and her pastel On the Lawn sold for 320 francs. Her works averaged 250 francs, the best relative prices at the auction.
After 1885, drawing began to dominate in Morisot's works. Morisot actively experimented with charcoals and color pencils. Her reviving interest in drawing was motivated by her Impressionist friends, who are known for blurring forms. Morisot put her emphasis on the clarification of the form and lines during this period. In addition, she was influenced by photography and Japonisme. She adopted the style of placing objects away from the center of the composition from Japanese prints of the time.
Being a female artist, Morisot's paintings were often labeled as being full of "feminine charm" by male critics, for their elegance and lightness. In 1890, Morisot wrote in a notebook about her struggles to be taken seriously as an artist: "I don't think there has ever been a man who treated a woman as an equal and that's all I would have asked for, for I know I'm worth as much as they." Her light brushstrokes often led to critics using the verb "effleurer" (to touch lightly, brush against) to describe her technique. In her early life, Morisot painted in the open air as other Impressionists to look for truths in observation. Around 1880 she began painting on unprimed canvases—a technique Manet and Eva Gonzalès also experimented with at the time—and her brushwork became looser. In 1888–89, her brushstrokes transitioned from short, rapid strokes to long, sinuous ones that define form. The outer edges of her paintings were often left unfinished, allowing the canvas to show through and increasing the sense of spontaneity. After 1885, she worked mostly from preliminary drawings before beginning her oil paintings. She also worked in oil paint, watercolors, and pastel simultaneously, and sketched using various drawing media. Morisot's works are almost always small in scale.
Correspondence between Morisot and Édouard Manet shows warm affection, and Manet gave her an easel as a Christmas present. Morisot often posed for Manet and there are several portrait painting of Morisot such as Repose (Portrait of Berthe Morisot) and Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet. Morisot died on March 2, 1895, in Paris, of pneumonia contracted while attending to her daughter Julie's similar illness, and thus making her an orphan at the age of 16. She was interred in the Cimetière de Passy.
She was featured as the "A First Impressionist" in an article written by Anne Truitt in the New York Times on June 3, 1990.
She was portrayed by actress Marine Delterme in a 2012 French biographical TV film directed by Caroline Champetier. The character of Beatrice de Clerval in Elizabeth Kostova's The Swan Thieves is largely based on Morisot.
In February 2013, Morisot became the highest priced female artist, when After Lunch (1881), a portrait of a young redhead in a straw hat and purple dress, sold for $10.9 million at a Christie's auction. The painting achieved roughly three times its upper estimate, exceeding the $10.7 million for a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois in 2012.
Currently, Berthe Morisot is 180 years, 9 months and 8 days old. Berthe Morisot will celebrate 181st birthday on a Friday 14th of January 2022.
Find out about Berthe Morisot birthday activities in timeline view here.