Description: MORISOT, Berthe, (French, 1840-1895): Portrait of young girl seated with cat, believed to be Julie Manet, Pastel/Paper, signed lower right, 12.75″ x 9″, marquetry frame, 22.5″ x 17.25″. Provenance: Reputedly purchased from a gallery in Paris in the 1970’s. Unfortunately no supporting receipts or paperwork.
Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot (January 14, 1841 – March 2, 1895) was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists. She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of “les trois grandes dames” of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt.
In 1864, Morisot exhibited for the first time in the highly esteemed Salon de Paris. Sponsored by the government and judged by Academicians, the Salon was the official, annual exhibition of the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris. Her work was selected for exhibition in six subsequent Salons until, in 1874, she joined the “rejected” Impressionists in the first of their own exhibitions, which included Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley. It was held at the studio of the photographer Nadar.
Morisot was married to Eugène Manet, the brother of her friend and colleague Édouard Manet.