One of the best-known women Impressionists, Berthe Morisot devoted herself to the painting of modern life. As one critic noted at the time, “Her painting has all the frankness of improvisation; it truly is the impression caught by a sincere eye and accurately rendered by a hand that does not cheat.” Morisot distinguished herself as the only woman to exhibit in the first Impressionist exhibition, and continued to show in the next seven of the eight Impressionist exhibitions. Married to the brother of Manet and close friends with Renoir, Morisot became one of the most prolific members of the Impressionist circle. Her love for painting outdoors continued throughout her career, and her daughter Julie remained her favorite model.
Born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in 1844, Mary Cassatt stands out as the only American member of the Impressionist circle. After studying painting both at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and throughout Europe, she settled permanently in Paris in 1875, where she became close friends with Degas and exhibited in four of the Impressionist exhibitions. Cassatt rejected the idea of becoming a wife and mother and embraced her independence as she forged a profitable and successful career painting women as “Subjects, not objects.” Best known for portraits of mother and child, her work first focused on an intimate world of social interactions and later turned to the close relationships between adults and children.
Although Eva Gonzalès’ career was cut short by her sudden death at the age of 34, she became known for her characteristic style for portraiture. She included subtle emotion and richness of detail in her works, such as A Loge in the Théàtre des Italiens (1874), described as one of the most provocative paintings of its day and featured in this exhibition. Manet chose Gonzalès as his only formal pupil. Like her teacher, she never exhibited with the Impressionists but was considered a member of their circle.
The greatest challenge in Marie Bracquemond’s career proved to be the discouragement of her husband, the artist Felix Bracquemond. Unlike the other women, Bracquemond did not enjoy the opportunities of privilege, and she was largely self-taught. She became acquainted with members of the Impressionist circle, including Degas, Renoir, and Monet, after her designs for porcelain attracted Degas’ attention. Bracquemond exhibited in three of the Impressionist exhibitions. Felix Bracquemond's disapproval of Impressionism and his discouragement of his wife’s career led her to stop painting by 1890.
Berthe Morisot-udstillingen på Ordrupgaard er åben i hele januar måned.http://www.famsf.org/pressroom/pressreleases/women-impressionists-berthe-morisot-mary-cassatt-eva-gonzal%C3%A8s-marie-bracquem