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Berthe Morisot - Female Impressionist Painter

Updated on November 7, 2009

Artist Berthe Morisot was born on January 14, 1841 in Bourges, France. Her father was a successful businessman and she had a sister, Edma. The family believed that they had the artist Fragonard in their ancestry.

In the early 1860s, Morisot and her sister began studying painting with Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot of the Barbizon school of painters. As well as teaching them landscape painting and other techniques, Corot introduced the girls to other artists. Berthe and her sister studied and painted together until Edma married and had a child.

In 1864, two of Morisot’s landscape paintings were accepted for show at the Salon de Paris. In 1868, she became friends with fellow artist Edouard Manet. They helped each other to perfect their art and it was Morisot who introduced Manet to the Impressionists and convinced him to show his art with them. Berthe married Manet’s brother Eugene in 1874, forever tying the two friends together.The couple had one daughter.

Morisot by Manet
Morisot by Manet

Morisot had many of her paintings accepted by the Salon de Paris but from 1873 on, Morisot exhibited with the Impressionists. She, along with Mary Cassatt, was one of the few female Impressionist painters. And, like Cassatt, a lot of Morisot’s paintings feature women and children or domestic scenes.

Berthe Morisot died on March 2, 1895.

Like many of the Impressionists, the artwork of Berthe Morisot has shown up on everything from coasters, to calendars, to bookmarks, to notebooks. Her style is very pleasing to the eye and I’m sure we will continue to see it being used on merchandise.

Berthe Morisot Quotes

A love of nature is a consolation against failure.

It is important to express oneself... provided the feelings are real and are taken from your own experience.

Real painters understand with a brush in their hand.

On the Balcony 1872

The Cradle 1872

The Dining Room 1875

Young Girl with Cage 1885


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  • BRIAN SLATER profile image

    Brian Slater 6 years ago from England

    What a great article, I have always loved the Impressionist artists and it's nice of you to showcase a lesser known female impressionist. Voted up and shared.

  • robie2 profile image

    Roberta Kyle 6 years ago from Central New Jersey

    Thank you for bringing Berthe Morisot to my attention. Though I love the impressionists, I had never heard of her which is surprising because there were so few women in this movement. Her work does seem familiar to me though, perhaps I have seen it, as you say, on coasters and calendars. Like Mary Cassatt, she chooses wonderfully female, mother and child moments to paint. I love " On the Balcony" where the connection between woman and child is palpable. Love the videos too. Great hub UW and thanks again.

  • Sally's Trove profile image

    Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

    Magnificent videos.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks for pointing that out Sarah. I guess I misread things. It's fixed now.

  • profile image

    Sarah 8 years ago

    I just stumbled across this article doing research for a paper I'm writing for an art survey class. You have a pretty blatant error in here where you state:

    "Berthe’s sister Edma, married Manet’s brother Eugene in 1874, forever tying the two friends together. Morisot herself never married."

    You have it quite mixed up. It was actually Berthe who married Manet's brother, Eugene, not her sister. They were married in December 1874 and had one daughter named Julie. Please research this, it's all over the place.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks for commenting knell63, sorry it took me so long. I appreciate you dropping by.

  • knell63 profile image

    knell63 8 years ago from Umbria, Italy

    I have just been researching up Gwen John's story today and it was nice to find a couple of other femaie artists from the 19th century on your site. Very interesting read.