Berthe Morisot: La Coiffure

The Hairstyle: Berthe Morisot

Berthe Morisot’s 1894 The Hairstyle, or La Coiffure in her native French, shows a girl having her hair done by another red-haired girl in front of a portrait of a woman. We are in an intimate domestic space, a space generally associated with the realm of femininity. Morisot paints two psychological states – the almost bored practicality of the hairdresser and the reverie and absorption of the sitting girl.

These states are only discernible beneath the broad strokes of paint that seem to veil them. As such, there is a type of visual initiation into the realm of the female by which we are privileged.

Berthe Morisot’s La Coiffure is in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Agrentina.

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