Famous Paintings by Berthe Morisot

12 of the Most Famous Paintings by Berthe Morisot

These are the 12 most famous paintings by Berthe Morisot, who was an impressionist painter of French descent. She was described as one of the three great ladies of Impressionism, along with Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt. Her style was described as full of femininity, elegance, and lightness. In her early career, she painted in the open air like other Impressionist painters but later began painting on unprimed canvases so her brushwork became looser. Besides oil painting, she worked in watercolors, and pastels and sketched using various drawing media.

Woman at her Toilette (1875)

One of the most famous paintings by Berthe Morisot, Woman at her Toilette is at first look recognized as an impressionist. Light touches of the brush create an almost dreamy and soft scheme, while the painting generally oozes femininity. The positioning of Morisot’s signature at the bottom left corner of the mirror performs as a part of the scene. Another artist who did this was Vincent van Gogh.

The Cradle (1872)

This work, painted in Paris, is often called Morisot’s most famous painting. The Cradle depicts the artist’s sister called Edma, watching over her sleeping daughter, Blanche, and it is the first motherhood image in Morisot’s work. Edma is shown drawing the net curtain of the cradle between the viewer and the baby, emphasizing the sense of intimacy.

Hanging the Laundry out to Dry (1875)

Suspendre le linge pour sécher, or Hanging the Laundry out to Dry in English, is a landscape that shows how Morisot creates a sense of space and depth through the use of color but also uses the color to the minimum to construct a motif.

Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets (1872)

This painting depicts the artist herself, and it was done by a French modernist painter, Édouard Manet. She is looking directly into the viewer and is wearing a black mourning dress and a hat, with her face surrounded by black ribbons and scarves. On the neckline of her dress is a barely visible bouquet. Berthe and Édouard met four years before this portrait was made, and he did many of her portraits. Manet painted her with black eyes, even though her eyes were green. This painting was quickly considered a masterpiece of his work and was praised by many artists of that time. Another interesting fact is that she later married his brother Eugène.

The Flute Player (1890)

The Flute Player, or Le Flageolet in French, is a painting with dominant green, blue and yellow tones. This painting shows two young women from the upper class, relaxing and playing their instruments. Once again, Morisot depicted the innocence and beauty of youth.

Child among the Hollyhocks (1881)

The child in this truly impressionistic painting seems to blend in with nature and vegetation which is a symbol of innocence and the curiosity of childhood.

Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight (1875)

Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight is made on a canvas of smaller dimensions (38 by 46 cm). It depicts Eugene Manet, the brother of the famous painter Edouard Manet in the month of December. Eugene was the husband of the painter, and they married a year before the painting was made. The couple spent their honeymoon at Cowes, on the Isle of Wight.

The Sisters (1869)

The artist had two older sisters, Yves and Edma, and a younger brother, Tiburce. They all received art education and were taught by Geoffroy-Alphonse Chocarne and Joseph Guichard.

On the Balcony (1872)

On the Balcony shows a mother with her daughter who is on a terrace in Paris, and it invites the viewer to follow the gaze of the young child. It was inspired by Manets Le Balcon (1868-1869) for which Morisot posed herself. The figures in Morisot’s painting have much more natural posture and her brushwork is very loose, but her palette lighter. In the background of the painting, the dome of the Hotel des Invalides stands out.

Grain Field (1875)

In this oil on canvas painting titled Grain Field, the artist depicted a lonely figure in the golden fields. This painting was done during the peak of Morisot’s impressionist phase. She practiced and painted very quickly, so she could paint “a mouth, eyes, and a nose with a single brushstroke”.

Before the Mirror (1890)

This impressionist painting was one of Morisot’s later works. Before the Mirror depicts a very intimate and feminine scene.

The Mother and Sister of the Artist (1869-1870)

The Mother and Sister of the Artist depicts the mother, Marie-Josephine, and the sister, Edma, of the artist herself. The mother is depicted in a darker, serious tone, while the sister is shown wearing an ivory-colored dress with a blue ribbon in her hair.

What famous paintings by Berthe Morisot do you think we should add to this list? Comment below.

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