Kraushaar Galleries, New York (by 1926)
Ralph Coe, Cleveland (sold: Sotheby's New York, January 14, 1959, lot 70)
Milch Gallery, New York (acquired at the above sale)
Acquired from the above in 1959
Galerie Durand-Ruel, Exposition de Berthe Morisot, Paris, 1896, no. 29
Galerie Bernheim, Retrospective de Berthe Morisot, Paris, 1922
The Arts Club, Chicago, 1943
New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, Pictures Collected by Yale Alumni, 1956, no. 87, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Wildenstein and Co., Berthe Morisot, Loan Exhibition of Paintings for the Benefit of the National Organization of Mentally Ill Children, Inc., 1960
Berthe Morisot was a pioneer among the avant-garde, not only because she was one of the few female members of the Impressionist group, but also because she approached portraiture with a distinctive style and intimacy that was unmatched by her famous contemporaries, with whom she often exhibited her work: Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and Sisley. This lovely picture from 1892 is a wonderful example of her talents within this genre. Paul Mantz has described her work as having "all the frankness of an improvisation; it does truly give the idea of an 'impression' registered by a sincere eye and rendered again by a hand completely without trickery"(Kathleen Adler and Tamar Garb, Berthe Morisot, Ithaca, New York, 1987, p. 72). Renowned for her intimate depictions of children, Morisot only gave birth to her daughter, Julie, at the age of 37. Her frequent depictions of her daughter only strenghtened further her interest in conveying the tenderness of domestic life, and her portraits of children with animals are amongst her most affecting
Born into an upper-class family supportive of her artistic talent, Morisot remained solely focused on her career until she married Eugène Manet, the brother of her good friend and mentor, Edouard, at the age of 33. Edouard Manet's influence is evident in much of Morisot's oeuvre, however many critics observed that she transformed his lessons into a body of work that is decidedly 'feminine'. One critic noted, "Close the catalogue and look at the work full of freshness and delicacy, executed with a lightness of brush, a finesse which flows from a grace which is entirely feminine...: It is the poem of the modern woman, imagined and dreamed by a woman," (as quoted in T.J. Edelstein, ed, Perspectives on Morisot, 1990, p. 61).
Jeune fille au chien was completed in the garden at her home on the rue de Villejust, during a time when she was also working largely with pastel and watercolor. The influence of those media can be felt in the present canvas, which possesses the finish and luster of a traditional oil painting with a soft palette comprised of pearlescent light-infused colors. She applies them to the canvas with individual strokes that mimic the effect of velvety pastels, especially in the verdant, lush foliage of the garden, which surrounds the girl entirely, seeming to merge with her bright green hat. Around the time that the artist was working on this canvas, she was also in frequent contact with her Impressionist colleague Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Jeune fille au chien evidences the strong influences the two artists had on each other's style, as Renoir was also incorporating a similar technique and color scheme into his canvases during the early 1890s.
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