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Berthe Morisot | Impressionist painter

One of "les Trois Grandes Dames" of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt, French painter Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists.

In 1864, she exhibited for the first time in the highly esteemed Salon de Paris. Sponsored by the government, and judged by academicians, the Salon was the official, annual exhibition of the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris.
Her work was selected for exhibition in six subsequent Salons until, in 1874, she joined the "rejected" Impressionists in the first of their own exhibitions, which included Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley. It was held at the studio of the photographer Nadar.

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.

Meanwhile, in 1868 Morisot became acquainted with Édouard Manet. He took a special interest in Morisot, as is evident from his warm portrayal of her in several paintings, including a striking portrait study of Morisot in a black veil, while in mourning for her father's death.

Although traditionally Manet has been related as the master and Morisot as the follower, there is evidence that their relationship was a reciprocating one.
Morisot had developed her own distinctive artistic style. Records of paintings show Manet's appreciation of certain stylistic and compositional decisions that Morisot originated. He incorporated some of these characteristics into his own work.

It was Morisot who persuaded Manet to attempt plein air painting, which she had been practicing since having been introduced to it by Corot.
She also drew Manet into the circle of painters who soon became known as the Impressionists. In 1874, Morisot married Manet's brother, Eugene, and they had one daughter, Julie. Julie Manet became the subject for many of her mother's paintings and a book of her memoirs Growing Up with the Impressionists: The Diary of Julie Manet, was published in 1987.

Morisot, Berthe - Pittrice ed incisore, nata a Bourges il 14 gennaio 1841, morta a Parigi il 2 marzo 1895. Allieva di É. Manet, del quale sposò il fratello Eugenio nel 1874, la Morisot appartiene, con Mary Cassatt e Marie Bracquemond, all'Impressionismo.

Nei suoi quadri la Morisot è innanzitutto una donna: ciò che ella raffigura è la donna, al ballo o alla toletta; si compiace di rappresentare i particolari delle vesti femminili, la biancheria fine, le stoffe morbide che dipinge con tocco abile e leggiero. L'Hortensia, il Ballo (Parigi, Louvre) sono quadri assai caratteristici di questa poesia tenera e brillante.
La Morisot fu a sua volta ritratta inparecchie pitture da É. Manet; così servì da modello per la donna seduta nel quadro Il balcone.
La Morisot lasciò alcuni quaderni manoscritti assai interessanti per la storia del Manet e dell'impressionismo (collez. M.me Ernest Rouard, nata Manet). / © Treccani - Enciclopedia Italiana.