Berthe Morisot

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Morisot, Berthe

(bĕrt môrēzō`), 1841–95, French impressionist painter. She studied with many gifted painters, including CorotCorot, Jean-Baptiste Camille
, 1796–1875, French landscape painter, b. Paris. Corot was one of the most influential of 19th-century painters. The son of shopkeepers, he worked in textile shops until 1822, when he began to study painting.
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. She formed a close friendship with ManetManet, Édouard
, 1832–83, French painter, b. Paris. The son of a magistate, Manet went to sea rather than study law. On his return to Paris in 1850 he studied art with the French academic painter Thomas Couture.
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, who became her brother-in-law, and she served as model for several of his best-known paintings. The two greatly influenced each other's artistic development. Her own later work inclined toward pure impressionism in its rendering of light, while retaining an unusual smoothness of brushwork. Her paintings formed an important addition to all but one impressionist exhibit from 1874 through 1885. Her most notable works, including Young Woman at the Dance (1880; Paris) and La Toilette (Art Inst., Chicago), are painted in clear, luminous colors. Her early subject matter included landscapes and marine scenes; later she most frequently painted tranquil portraits of mothers and children. Morisot's works have been particularly popular in the United States, and many important works are in American collections.

Bibliography

See catalog (ed. by D. Rouart, 1960); her correspondence (ed. by D. Rouart; tr., 2d ed. 1959).