Lot 47
  • 47

Berthe Morisot

Estimate
800,000 - 1,200,000 USD
Sold
bidding is closed

Description

  • Plage de Nice
  • Stamped with the signature Berthe Morisot (lower left)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 18 1/4 by 22 in.
  • 46.5 by 56 cm

Provenance

Durand-Ruel, Paris

Rouart Collection, Paris

Wildenstein, New York (acquired from the above in November 1948)

Mr. & Mrs. Robert B. Honeyman, New York (acquired from the above in May 1953)

Sale: Christie's New York, November 15, 1990, lot 203

JPL Fine Arts, London

Galerie Hopkins-Thomas, Paris (acquired from the above)

Exhibited

Paris, 7e Exposition des Artists Indépendants, 1882, no. 97 (titled Port de Nice)

London, Durand-Ruel at Dowdeswell's Galleries, Paintings, Drawings and Pastels by Members of 'La Société des Impressionistes' 1883, no. 57

New York, Durand-Ruel, National Academy of Design, Works in Oil and Pastels. The Impressionists of Paris, 1886, no. 144

Paris, Galeries Durand-Ruel, Berthe Morisot (Madame Eugène Manet) 1841-1895, 1896, no. 147

Paris, Galeries Durand-Ruel, Exposition Berthe Morisot, 1902, no. 23

Paris, Grand Palais des Champs Elysées, Société du Salon d'Automne, 1907, no. 50

Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Expositions d'oeuvres de Berthe Morisot, 1929, no. 90

Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie, Berthe Morisot, 1941, no. 36

New York, Wildenstein& Co., Loan Exhibition of Paintings, Berthe Morisot,, 1960, no. 28, illustrated in the catalogue

New York, Hammer Galleries, 1994, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Bilbao, Museo de Bellas artes, Majeres impresionistas, la otra mirada, 2002, no. 51, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Martigny, Switzerland, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Berthe Morisot, 2002, no. 61, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Frankfurt, Shirn Kunsthalle & San Francisco, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzales, Marie Bracquemond, 2008, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Copenhagen, Ordrupgaard Museum, Berthe Morisot, den store kvindelige impressionist, 2012-13, no. 11, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Literature

Marie-Louise Bataille & Georges Wildenstein, Berthe Morisot, Catalogue des peintures, pastels et aquarelles, Paris, 1961, no. 116, illustrated pl. 51

Charles F. Stuckey & William P. Scott, "Berthe Morisot" in Berthe Morisot, Impressionist, New York, 1987, discussed p. 91

Ruth Berson, The New Painting, Impressionistm 1874-1886, Documentation, vol. II, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 1992, illustrated p. 225

Alain Clairet, Delphine Montalant & Yves Rouart, Berthe Morisot 1841-1895. Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 1997, no. 117, illustrated p. 170

Catalogue Note

Shown in the 7th Impressionist group exhibition in 1882, Plage de Nice ranks among Morisot's definitive compositions.  This exquisite picture was completed in early 1882, when Morisot, her husband Eugène Manet and their daughter Julie were vacationing at the Hôtel Richemont in Nice.  The motif for this painting was initially conceived on site, as Morisot watched over little Julie playing in the sand, but it was most likely completed in the artist's room since the wind made it impossible for her to work consistently outdoors.  The rapidity of the brushwork in this picture, which is the only figure painting completed during her time in Nice, evokes these windy conditions and the icy chill of seaside air.  Morisot's soft-focus on the central elements of her composition was a daring departure from her mentor and brother-in-law Edouard Manet's representation of beach frolickers, but this innovative new style came to be regarded as the definining aesthetic among the original Impressionist group.  

"No one represents Impressionist with more refined talent and more authority than Berthe Morisot," wrote Gustave Geffroy in his review of the Impressionist exhibition of 1881.  Indeed, more than any of her colleagues, Morisot's approach to her painting was part and parcel with the act of looking and recording life in progress.  Linda Nochlin wrote of how Morisot's best paintings "reveal the act of working which creates them, are sparkling, invogorating, and totally uneffortful-looking registers of the process of painting itself.  In the best of them, color and brushstroke are the deliberately revealed point of the picture: they are, so to speak, work about work, in which the work of looking and registering the process of looking in paint on canvas or pastel on paper assumes an importance almost unparalleled in the annals of painting.  One might almost say that the work of painting is not so strongly revealed until the time of the late Monet or even that of Abstract Expressionism..." ( L. Nochlin, "Morisot's Wet Nurse, The Construction of Work and Leisure in Impressionist Painting," reprinted in Women Impressionists(exhibition catalogue), Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt & Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2008)

According to the artist's daughter, this picture was painted in the winter of 1882 and was preceded by three prepatory watercolors, one of which is at the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. While Morisot and Julie remained at the seaside until March, her husband Eugene took this canvas, along with a few others painted during their holiday, back to Paris for inclusion in the now-legendary Impressionist group show in April 1882. 

One of the first owners of record of the present painting was Mrs. Robert B. Honeyman, the wife of the avid New York and California-based collector.  The Honeymans built a private museum at Rancho Los Cerritos in San Juan Capistrano, California, to house his eclectic collection of manuscripts, stamps, metals and European and American fine art.

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