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Berthe Morisot | Style and technique

Because she was 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.
Morisot creates a sense of space and depth through the use of color.
Although her color palette was somewhat limited, her fellow impressionists regarded her as a "virtuoso colorist".
She typically made expansive use of white to create a sense of transparency, whether used as a pure white or mixed with other colors. In her large painting, The Cherry Tree, colors are more vivid but are still used to emphasize form.

Inspired by Manet's drawings, she kept the use of color to the minimum when constructing a motif.
Responding to the experiments conducted by Manet and Edgar Degas, Morisot used barely tinted whites to harmonize the paintings.
Like Degas, she played with three media simultaneously in one painting: watercolor, pastel and oil paints.
In the second half of her career, she learned from Renoir by mimicking his motifs.
She also shared an interest in keeping a balance between the density of figures and the atmospheric traits of light with Renoir in her later works. | © Wikipedia