Sunday, January 15, 2012

Heroine of the Weekend

Since today is my birthday, it seemed like a good time to get organized and start doing some blog posts again!! I'm going to start by adding in some new Heroines, since I have missed them. Today's Heroine is Bertha Morisot, born on January 14, 1841.

Morisot was born in Bourges, to a well-to-do and respectable family who nevertheless encouraged their daughters Berthe and Edma in their pursuit of art. (Edma married young and gave up painting, while Berthe was more ambitious). Berthe first studied with Barbizon School artist Camilly Corot, who encouraged her interest in plein-air landscape painting, and later with Edouard Manet, who became one of her greatest friends and colleagues and who used her as his model many times (there are rumors of romance, but no proof has come to light...)

Her first appearance in the prestigious Salon was in 1864, with 2 landscapes. She continued to show at the Salon, to mostly positive reactions, until she joined up with the rebellious Inpressionists in 1873. Her light, free style fit well with their aesthetic, though like the other female Impressionist Mary Cassat she mostly painted images of her own milieu of intimate domestic life, women in their homes, and landscapes.

In 1874 she married Edouard Manet's brother Eugene and had one daughter, Julie. She died of pneumonia on March 2, 1895 and was buried in the Cimetiere de Passy. Her paintings can still be seen in every major museum in the world and are highly sought-after in art auctions...

Some sources on her life:

Anne Higonnet, Berthe Morisot (1995)
Julie Manet, Growing Up With the Impressionists: The Diary of Julie Manet (1987)

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