Girl on a Divan: Berthe Morisot

Girl on a Divan: Berthe Morisot

Girl on a Divan is an 1885 painting in the Impressionist style by the leading female French artist Berthe Morisot. This work is located in the National Gallery in London, United Kingdom.

Girl on a Divan Analysis

An Impressionist depiction of a female subject in an indoor setting, it belongs to Morisot’s most experimental age, when her Impressionist experience of oil painting would begin to transition into drawing, her lifelong passion.

The sedate female figure posing for this picture is sitting on a greenish armchair wearing a mottled cream dress with frilled décolletage. She is cropped, brown hair and is looking somewhere to our right, with an expression that communicates polite expectation.

The Impressionist stroke dissolves the figures, especially at the edges, in many of Morisot’s compositions. This is not the case with Girl on a Divan, which is seemingly treated as a portrait, with the model posing for prolonged periods of time and affording Morisot every opportunity to belabor the primary and the secondary shapes.

The most dissolving element in this picture comes to be the topmost layer of the girl’s hair, which partly gives way to the blue of the wall behind her.

Morisot’s subject does not emerge too strongly from her seat as the chromatic contrast is mild. It is the shading effect around her bust and head that serves to express the borderlines of her figure.

Girl on a Divan Location

This work is located in the National Gallery in London, United Kingdom.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.