Berthe Morisot, along with Mary Cassatt, is one of the very few 19th century Impressionism artists. Her paintings frequently depict family scenes and are a reflection of the lives of women at that time. Berthe Morisot paintings include Woman at her Toilette, The Cradle 1872, and The Psyche Mirror 1876. Morisot exhibited her paintings for the first time at the 1856 Salon de Paris and several later exhibitions of the Academie des Beaux-Arts. However, in 1874 she joined the Salon des Refusés of famous artists whose paintings the official Salon had rejected. These artists include Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, and Edgar Degas. While Morisot worked in several mediums, her oil painting, Apres le Dejeuner 1881 (After Dinner), was sold in 2013 for $6.98m, making her one of the most expensive female artists ever.
Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot was born in France in 1841 into an affluent family. Her father was a civil servant but had studied at the Ecole des Beaux-arts. Her mother was related to the Rococo artist Jean Honore Fragonard. Morisot was one of three children, including two older sisters. It was customary for young women of wealthy families to receive an education in the arts. All three girls were introduced to the famous paintings in the Louvre. In later years, she was introduced to the Barbizon School artist Jean Baptiste Camille Corot and the plein air technique of working outdoors.
Berthe Morisot was married to Eugene Manet, the brother of Edouard Manet, who was a lifelong friend of the artist. Edouard Manet's portrait painting, Berthe Morisot with Bouquet of Violets is held at the Musee d'Orsay. Morisot died in Paris in 1895 of pneumonia, aged 54.
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