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Berthe Morisot’s Woman with a Fan in Depth

Berthe Morisot’s Woman with a Fan in Depth


We have a lovely work by Berthe Morisot,
one of the most important of the French women Impressionists: Woman with a fan.
It’s a portrait of a friend of her mother’s rather unconventional and that
she’s lying on a daybed, relaxing. For me, it’s a wonderful clin d’oeil to Manet’s
Olympia with the courtesan lying on her bed with the black cat. Very famous
painting that caused a lot of controversy in 1863 in Paris. Here of
course the sitter is a lovely, charming friend of the artist mother, not a
courtesan. But she looks at us with a direct gaze; a confident gaze, a very
capturing work and a beautifully rendering work where she’s working
primarily with whites and able to bring the dress she’s wearing completely alive
in terms of the effect of how the lights falling upon it and the effect of the
fabrics all around her. One thing to note about the Berthe Morisot is that she
was the first woman to be accepted into the impressionist group and she
exhibited with them in their first exhibition in 1874. She never went back
to the official salon, unlike some of the other impressionist artists who did. you you

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