Morisot, Berthe

Morisot, Berthe bĕrt môrēzō´ [key], 1841–95, French impressionist painter. She studied with many gifted painters, including Corot. She formed a close friendship with Manet, who became her brother-in-law, and she served as model for several of his best-known paintings, e. g., The Balcony (1868). 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 and looseness of brushwork. With her swift yet intricate brushwork, she was particularly adept at capturing the essence of individual modern women. 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.

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

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: European Art, 1600 to the Present: Biographies