Here are some famous Berthe Morisot quotes by the French Impressionist painter.
Who was Berthe Morisot?
Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) was a French painter and one of the leading figures in the Impressionist movement, which revolutionized the art world in the late 19th century. Her remarkable talent, determination, and contribution to the art world not only advanced the Impressionist style but also paved the way for greater recognition and opportunities for women artists.
Born into an affluent family in Bourges, France, Morisot received an education considered progressive for the time, which included art lessons. Her early exposure to art and culture laid the foundation for her future career as a painter. Morisot’s family supported her artistic aspirations, allowing her to pursue her passion seriously.
Morisot’s journey as an artist began in earnest when she met Édouard Manet, a pivotal figure in her life and the Impressionist movement. Manet recognized her exceptional talent and encouraged her to pursue painting professionally. Under his mentorship, Morisot honed her skills and started participating in the Paris Salon, the foremost art exhibition of the time.
As a woman in the 19th-century art world, Morisot faced significant challenges and prejudices. The Salon, dominated by male artists, often overlooked or underestimated female painters. Despite these obstacles, Morisot’s determination and artistic prowess shone through. She, along with her fellow Impressionists, sought an alternative to the traditional Salon and decided to showcase their works independently.
The core philosophy of Impressionism was to capture the fleeting effects of light, atmosphere, and color in everyday scenes. Morisot embraced this approach, creating works characterized by loose brushwork, vibrant colors, and a focus on contemporary subjects. Her paintings often depicted scenes of domestic life, landscapes, and portraits.
One of Morisot’s recurring themes was the portrayal of women, especially the women of her own social class. She presented them as modern, independent figures, challenging conventional representations of femininity in art. Her work “The Cradle” (1872), for example, shows a mother tending to her child, emphasizing the intimacy of motherhood.
Morisot’s commitment to her craft and her unique perspective as a woman brought her success in the art world. She exhibited alongside other prominent Impressionists like Monet, Renoir, and Degas, helping to shape the movement’s direction. Her work was praised for its freshness and authenticity, reflecting her own experiences and emotions.
In 1874, Morisot participated in the first Impressionist exhibition, a groundbreaking event that defied the artistic establishment’s conventions. These exhibitions, held annually, allowed Morisot to gain visibility and recognition among her peers and the public. Her contributions to the Impressionist exhibitions persisted throughout her career.
Despite her success, Morisot’s personal life was marked by tragedy. She married Eugène Manet, Édouard Manet’s brother, in 1874, and the couple had a daughter, Julie. However, Morisot faced the profound loss of her husband, who died of illness in 1892, leaving her a widow. This event deeply affected her, and she continued to paint while grieving her husband’s passing.
Berthe Morisot’s legacy extends far beyond her role as an Impressionist painter. Her determination and pioneering spirit paved the way for future generations of women artists, breaking through societal norms and gender barriers. Her work remains celebrated for its innovative approach to capturing everyday life and its significant impact on the evolution of modern art. Berthe Morisot’s contributions to the Impressionist movement and her status as a trailblazer for women in the arts ensure her enduring place in the annals of art history.
Berthe Morisot’s Contribution to Art History
Berthe Morisot is a pivotal figure in the history of art, renowned for her pioneering role in the Impressionist movement and her significant contributions to gender equality in the field. Her remarkable journey as an artist, marked by innovation and resilience, left an indelible mark on the art world.
Morisot’s prominence within the Impressionist movement places her alongside luminaries like Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas. This artistic revolution sought to capture the evanescent interplay of light, color, and atmosphere in everyday scenes. Morisot’s distinct style featured loose brushwork and vibrant palettes, emphasizing contemporary themes such as domestic life, landscapes, and portraiture. Her ability to convey emotion and transience through her art was groundbreaking.
A defining aspect of Morisot’s work was her portrayal of women. In an era when women were often limited to traditional roles, her paintings presented women as modern, independent figures. Her subjects, whether mothers caring for their children or women adorned in fashionable attire, challenged societal expectations and contributed to a broader conversation about the evolving roles of women in the late 19th century.
Morisot’s involvement in the Impressionist exhibitions, initiated in 1874 as an alternative to the exclusionary Paris Salon, solidified her status as a leading artist of her time. These exhibitions not only reshaped the art world but also provided a platform for Morisot to showcase her talent and influence.
A subtle poetic sensibility permeated Morisot’s work, immersing viewers in the emotional and sensory experiences of her subjects. Her art transcended mere representation, fostering a deeper connection with her audience. This quality underscored the emotional impact that became a hallmark of Impressionism.
Beyond her artistic achievements, Morisot’s personal journey is a testament to her resilience. She navigated personal tragedies, including the loss of her husband, Eugène Manet, in 1892, all while continuing to produce poignant and introspective works.
Morisot’s enduring legacy extends beyond her canvases. Her career shattered societal norms and inspired countless women to pursue artistic endeavors. Her contributions to art history remain a testament to the transformative power of creativity and the enduring influence of those who challenge conventions and advocate for equality.
Berthe Morisot Quotes
- “I don’t think there has ever been a man who treated a woman as an equal and that’s all I would have asked for, for I know I’m worth as much as they”
- “It is important to express oneself… provided the feelings are real and are taken from your own experience”
- “I have sinned, I have suffered, I have atoned”
- “I love only extreme novelty or the things of the past”
- “There is constant sun, good weather all the time, the ocean like a slab of slate – there is nothing less picturesque than this combination”
- “Real painters understand with a brush in their hand”
- “I wear myself out trying to render the orange trees so that they’re not stiff but like those I saw by Botticelli in Florence. It’s a dream that won’t come true”
- “My ambition is limited to the desire to capture something transient, and yet, this ambition is excessive”
- “A love of nature is a consolation against failure”
- “There I found Manet, with his hat on in bright sunlight, looking dazed. He begged me to go and see his painting, as he did not dare to move a step”