Berthe Morisot, At the ball, 1875, oil on canvas, 62 x 52 cm. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris.


Until February 12, 2012 – Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

As the result of an important agreement reached with the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, this autumn the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza will be presenting the first monographic exhibition in Spain on the work of the Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot. Married to Eugène Manet, brother of her teacher Édouard Manet.
Berthe Morisot (Bourges, 1841-París, 1895), was the first woman to join the Impressionist movement. Born into an upper middle-class French family and educated in the arts and music, she managed successfully to combine her facet as an artist with the role of modern woman and active advocate of culture. The model and friend of Manet, whose brother Eugène she married, she was an ally of the Impressionist painters -including Degas, Renoir, Monet and Pisarro- and exhibited work of her own at virtually all of their exhibitions. Admired by intellectuals of the calibre of Mallarmé and Valéry, Morisot played a key role in the development of French Impressionism, taking part in the legendary First Impressionist Exhibition of 1874 and in other subsequent ones of the group.

Berthe Morisot, La Psyché, 1876, huile sur toile, 65 x 54 cm, Museo Thyssen‐Bornemisza, Madrid.


M
ore than thirty works from the Musée Marmottan Monet will be shown alongside others from the Thyssen collections, allowing visitors to discover the elegant, luminous work of this painter, expressed in the form of landscapes, scenes of daily life and female subjects. Morisot’s life and work also allow for an analysis of the role of women in late 19th-century France given that she was not just a great creative figure but also an urban, middle-class woman who was interested in fashion. In Paul Valery’s words: “Berthe Morisot’s uniqueness lies in the fact that she lived her painting and painted her life.”

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