Berthe Morisot

French (1841 - 1895)
Berthe Morisot A Woman and Child in a Garden About 1883 - 1884


Born 1841
Died 1895
Nationality French
Birth place Bourges
Death place Paris

Berthe Morisot’s passion for painting was apparent from an early age, and she persuaded her parents to allow her to have professional tuition. In 1861 she began to work out of doors at Ville d'Avray as Corot's pupil, and from 1864 to 1873 she exhibited fairly regularly at the Salon. In 1868 she met Edouard Manet, whose art she greatly admired. She married his brother Eugène six years later. When the first Impressionist exhibition was held in 1874, Morisot joined the group and agreed never again to send work to the Salon. Morisot was a faithful exhibitor at all eight Impressionist exhibitions (1874-1886). Like the other Impressionist painters, she was preoccupied by capturing light, but she also used broad strokes of colour that echo what she had observed in Manet’s work.

Glossary terms

  • A French expression meaning ‘in the open air’. It refers to the practice of painting a complete picture outside as apposed to a creating a preparatory sketch or study. The technique was developed during the mid 1800’s by Constable in Britain, in France by the Barbizon School painters such as Courbet and Corot and later by the Impressionist painters including Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Artists using the technique sought to capture the essence of natural light. In the second half of the nineteenth century the technique spread throughout much of Europe and into America.

  • An influential style of painting that originated in France in the 1870s with artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir and Alfred Sisley. They were interested in capturing the changing effects of light, frequently exploring this through landscape scenes painted in the open air.