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Berthe Morisot

1841 Bourges
1895 Paris

The painter, etcher and lithographer Berthe Morisot was born in Bourges on January 14, 1841. She is considered the "most impressionist of the Impressionists". In 1852, Berthe Morisot moved with her upper-class family to Paris. Here she and her sisters Yves (1838–93) and Edma (1839–1921) received private painting and drawing lessons together. In addition she studied with Joseph-Benoit Guichard (1806–80), Archille Francois Oudinot (1820–91), Camille Corot (1796–1875), Édouard Manet (1823–83) and Aimé Millet (1819–91). While Morisot was creating copies in the Louvre, she met Felix Braquemond (1833–1914) and Henri Fantin-Latour (1836–1904).
In 1864, the sisters exhibited in the Paris Salon for the first time. In 1868, Berthe Morisot met the painter Édouard Manet. A deep friendship developed between them with mutual appreciation and inspiration. Manet made frequent portraits of her up to the year 1874, for example in the works "Le Balcon" und "Le Repos". The artist participated in weekly soirées of the Morisot family and Manet with artists and writers such as Charles Baudelaire (1821–67), Emile Zola (1840–1902) and Edgar Degas (1834–1917).
In 1874, she married Eugène Manet, the artist’s brother. In the same year, Berthe Morisot exhibited at the first exhibit of the Impressionists and in so doing showed herself a member of the avant-garde of French art of the time. Subsequently she participated in all of the Impressionist group exhibits, except in 1879. At the auction in the Hôtel Drouot in 1875, Morisot’s works together with works by Claude Monet (1840–1926), Alfred Sisley (1839–99) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) were sold. However, Morisot’s pictures received the highest bids. In 1886, some of her works were seen in the Durand-Ruel Gallery in New York. She also exhibited them in the year after with Les XX in Brussels.
After 1892, the artist lived mostly in her country house in Mesnil. In the same year, she had her first solo exhibit in the Galerie Boussod and Valadon in Paris, in which 43 of her works were displayed. Berthe Morisot died in Paris on March 2, 1895. One year after her death, her friends Stéphane Mallarmé (1842–98), Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir organized a memorial exhibit for Berthe Morisot in the Durand-Ruel Gallery. Here, 191 of her paintings, 61 pastels, 73 water colors, 64 sketches and 2 sculptures were seen.
Most of her works show family scenes, women and children, outdoors and inside. The primary focus is representing the experience of light in the landscape.

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