Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

New York

Berthe Morisot
1841 - 1895
Signed Berthe Morisot (upper left)
Oil on canvas
21 1/2 by 18 1/8 in.
54.5 by 46 cm
Painted in 1871.
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Jos. Hessel, Paris

Jules Strauss, Paris ( acquired from the above and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 15, 1932, lot 55)

Thierry de La Noue, Paris (acquired at the above sale)

Private Collection (by descent from the above)


Paris, Cercle de la Renaissance, Portraits et figures de femmes: Ingres à Picasso, 1928, no. 139

Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Berthe Morisot, 1929, no. 6

Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Van Gogh et ses contemporains, 1930, no. 236

Paris, Galerie Schmit, Cent ans de peinture française, 1969, no. 92

Paris, Galerie Schmit, Portraits français, XIXe et XXe Siècles, 1974, no. 39

Paris, Galerie Schmit, Choix d'un Amateur, XIX-XXème siècles, 1977, no. 56

Paris, Galerie Schmit, 25 Ans d'Expositions: Maîtres Français XIXème-XXème siècles, 1990, no. 49



The Art News, vol. XXXI, no. 9, New York, November 26, 1932, illustrated p. 4

Monique Angeoulvent, Berthe Morisot, Paris, 1933, no. 20

Louis Rouart, Berthe Morisot, Paris, 1941, illustrated p. 6

Marie-Louis Bataille and George Wildenstein, Berthe Morisot, Catalogue des Peintures-Pastels & Aquarelles, Paris, 1961, no. 22, illustrated p. 115

B. Bailey and M. Rosenthal, Masterpieces of Impressionist and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection (exhibition catalogue), Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1989, fig. 46, illustrated p. 141

J.J. Lévêque, Les Années Impressionnistes, Paris, 1990, illustrated p. 203

Alain Clairet, Delphine Montalant and Yves Rouart, Berthe Morisot, Catalogue Raisonné de l'Oeuvre peint, Paris, 1997, no. 22, illustrated p. 123 

Catalogue Note

Berthe Morisot holds the distinction of being a founding member of the Impressionist group and one of its most important contributors.  Her paintings from the 1870s helped to define the aesthetic of the movement, and as one of its only women members in addition to the American, Mary Cassatt, Morisot lent a valuable female perspective to avant-garde art at the turn of the century.    Her loose compositional style and her liberal application of paint, demonstrated beautifully in Jeune femme, were directly influenced by the work of her brother-in-law, Eugène Manet.   Morisot's pictures gave insight to domestic aspects of French society and provided a platform for "feminine" subjects and concerns that remained largely unexplored by her male colleagues.  The models for her paintings were mostly women and children, many of whom were members of her own family, and they posed for her with a level of ease and familiarity that was rarely seen in 19th century portraiture.  When the present work was sold  at the sale of Jules Strauss's collection in 1932, the Art News reported that  "This canvas, which ranks as one of the finest offerings in the Jules Strauss sale at the Galerie Georges Petit on December 15, has been featured in many notable Paris exhibitions."

Jeune Femme dates from 1871, one year before Morisot and the other Impressionists made their debut at their first group show in Paris.  In a contemporary review of one of the Impressionist exhibitions, the critic Charles Ephrussi singled out Morisot for her sophistication and exemplary technique: "Berthe Morisot is French in her distinction, elegance, gaiety and nonchalance.  She loves painting that is joyous and lively.  She grinds flower petals onto her palette, in order to spread them later on her canvas with airy, witty touches, thrown down a little haphazardly.  These harmonize, blend and finish by producing something vital, fine, and charming that you do not see so much as intuit...." (Charles Ephrussi, "Exposition des artistes indépendants," Gazette des Beaux Arts, May 1, 1880, pp. 485-88, quoted in Charles Moffett, The New Painting (exhibition catalogue), San Francisco, 1992, p. 327.


Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

New York