Detail of Baby in The Cradle
Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot was born on 14 January 1841, in Bourges, France. She was the daughter of Marie Joséphine Cornélie Thomas (1819-1876) and Edme Tiburce Morisot. Berthe's parents were married in 1835. Her siblings were: Marie Elisabeth Yves Morisot (1838-1893), Marie Edma Caroline Morisot and Tiburce Morisot. In 1857, she attended drawing lessons with Geoffroy-Alphonse Chocarne (1838-1857). In 1858, Berthe Morisot and Edma Morisot moved to Paris, to study under Joseph-Benoit Guilchard. Also in 1858, the sisters registered as copyists in the Louvre. In 1861, they were introduced to Jean Baptiste Camille Corot (1796-1875). In 1862, Berthe Morisot continued her studies under the guidance of Camille Cordot. In 1864, Berthe Morisot submitted two canvases, Study and Still Life to the Salon. In July 1868, Berthe Morisot was introduced to Édouard Manet (1832-1883) by Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904). She soon became his pupil. Also in 1868, she met Edouard Manet's older brother, Eugène Manet. In 1869, Berthe Morisot painted The Artist's Sister at a Window or Young Woman Seated at a Window, the model was her sister Edma Morisot.
"A love of nature is a consolation against failure."
In 1870, Berthe Morisot painted The Artist's Sister Edma and Their Mother. In 1872, The Cradle and Madame Pontillon Seated on the Grass. In 1874, Berthe Morisot attended the first Impressionist exhibition with Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Claude Monet (1840-1926) Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley. Berthe Morisot and Eugène Manet were married in December 1874. He was a writer and political activist. In 1875-1876, she painted Figure of a Woman, Before the Theater. Her mother, Marie Joséphine Cornélie Thomas died in 1876. In 1876, Berthe Morisot painted The Psych or The Cheval Glass. Berthe Morisot and Eugène Manet had a daughter, Julie Manet (14 November 1878 - 14 July 1966) on 14 November 1878, in Paris. Her brother-in-law, Édouard Manet died on 30 April 1883, in Paris. In 1884, she painted her niece Paule Gobillard. By 1885, Berthe Morisot had begun to hold soirees for friends, in their home at 4 rue de la Princess, in Bougival on the Seine. In 1888, she painted In a Park, Hanging out the Laundry to Dry, Girl with a Basket, Woman at her Toilet and La Lecture. In 1892, Berthe Morisot had her only solo exhibition. Her husband, Eugène Manet died on 13 April 1892. Her sister, Marie Elisabeth Yves Morisot died in 1893. Her daughters, Paule and Jeanne moved into Berthe and Julie, in 40 rue de Villejust. They later moved to an apartment in Rue Weber. In 1894, she painted Julie Daydreaming. According to Berthe Morisot; "Real painters understand with a brush in their hand." She continued; "It is important to express oneself... provided the feelings are real and are taken from your own experience." And; "The paintings and sculptures are but mere reflection of the inner spirit. How can we ever come close?" Berthe Morisot died of pneumonia on 2 March 1895, in Paris. She was buried at Passy cemetery, next to Eugène Manet and Edouard Manet. Julie Manet married Ernest Rouart in May 1900, in Passy. Julie Manet died on 14 July 1966. Julie Manet's memoirs, Growing Up with the Impressionists: The Diary of Julie Manet was published in 1987.
"I don't think there has ever been a man who treated a woman as an equal and that's all I would have asked, for I know I'm worth as much as they." Berthe Morisot