Lot 161
  • 161

BERTHE MORISOT | Alice Gamby dans le salon

400,000 - 600,000 USD
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  • Berthe Morisot
  • Alice Gamby dans le salon
  • Stamped Berthe Morisot (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 26 5/8 by 20 in.
  • 67.7 by 50.8 cm
  • Painted in 1890.


Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Rouart, Paris
Mr. & Mrs. Julien Rouart, Paris
Private Collection, Paris (by descent from the above)
Sale: Ferri & Associés, Paris, November 27, 1997, lot 15
Galerie Matignon Saint-Honoré, Paris
Acquired from the above on June 9, 1999


Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Madame Eugène Manet, Exposition de son oeuvre, 1896, no. 55
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Berthe Morisot, 1902, no. 32
Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Cent oeuvres de Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), 1919, no. 38
Paris, Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Réunion d'oeuvres par Berthe Morisot, 1922, no. 43
Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Exposition d'oeuvres de Berthe Morisot, 1929, no. 44
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Berthe Morisot, 1936, no. 14
Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, Berthe Morisot, 1961, no. 70
Vevey, Musée Jenisch, Berthe Morisot, 1961, no. 58


Marie-Louis Bataille & Georges Wildenstein, Berthe Morisot, Catalogue des peintures, pastels et aquarelles, Paris, 1961, no. 248, illustrated n.p. 
Anne Higonnet, Berthe Morisot's Images of Women, Cambridge, 1992, no. 106, illustrated p. 245
Alain Clairet, Delphine Montalant & Yves Rouart, Berthe Morisot, 1841-1895, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Paris, 1997, no. 252, illustrated p. 238


The work is in very good condition. The canvas is unlined. There is some frame abrasions and minor associated losses to all four edges. There is some minor hairline craquelure to the figure's face. There is a minor vertical one inch scratch to the figure's face. Under Uv light, there are a couple fine strokes of inpainting along the top edge. There is a nailhead sized area of inpainting in the upper left corner. There are a couple pindot strokes of inpainting along the center of the right edge. There are a few strokes of inpainting along the bottom edge.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Berthe Morisot is known for her portraiture depicting young women with delicate features and flowing garments. The hurried quality of the brushstrokes of Alice Gamby dans le salon speaks to Morisot’s mastery of the Impressionist aesthetic. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Morisot was less pressured by art dealers and critics to produce highly finished paintings. She used her freedom to pursue composition on her own terms. Speaking on Morisot’s painting style, the art critic Paul Mantz commented, “The truth is that if there is a single Impressionist in the group...it is Berthe Morisot... Her painting...has all the freshness of improvisation. Here is where we really find the impression perceived by a sincere eye, faithfully rendered by a hand that does not lie” (quoted in Nicole R. Myers, ”Extreme Novelty or Things of the Past: Morisot and the Modern Woman," in Berthe Morisot: Woman Impressionist, New York, 2018, p. 89).

The familiar elements of Morisot’s oeuvre are visible in the present painting: a seated young girl with a glowing, pink haze of light filtering in through the window behind her. The painting is an impressive example of Morisot’s command of thoughtfully depicting both the figure and compositional space. Like her female contemporaries Mary Cassatt and Eva Gonzalès, Morisot was prohibited from the majority of public spaces and was confined to the sites prescribed by her class and gender. For this reason, most subjects of Morisot’s paintings were members of her family. The subject of the present portrait is Morisot’s brother Tiburce’s step-daughter, Alice Gamby.

Morisot’s daughter, Julie Manet, would go on to marry the son of the French painter Henri Rouart, Ernest Rouart, who was also a painter in his own right. The Rouart family had Alice Gamby dans le salon in their possession for almost a century.