Monday, May 13, 2019

BERTHE MORISOT at DALLAS ART MUSEUM: Review by Polly Guerin

The Cradle, 1872
"Berthe Morisot has captured on canvas the most figurative notes with delicacy and skill, and a technique which earns her a place in the forefront of the Impressionists." George Riviere, critic
       Celebrated in her time, French impressionist painter, BERTHE MORISOT's  prolific and daring style set a new trend as one of the revolutionary artists of the French Impressionist movement. As one of the founding members of the advant garde she was renowned as a painter of modern women and captured Parisians life with poignant details and intimate settings. Image: The Cradle, 1872, oil on canvas, Musee D'Orsay, Paris, Dist, RMN Grand Palais/Patrice Schmidt.
      In an acclaimed international touring exhibition, BERTHE MORISOT, WOMAN IMPRESSIONIST, The Dallas Art Museum presents, through May 26, the very first solo exhibition of her work to be held in the United States since 1987. After a highly successful presentations in Quebec, Canada, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States, the Dallas presentation focuses on the artist's figurative paintings and portraits though approximately seventy paintings from both public institutions and private collections. Of special interest. nine of the paintings are exclusive to the Dallas Museum of Art's presentation in North America and will be seen for the first time in Dallas as part of the exhibition. 
       Morisot may not be as well known as her impressionist colleagues, such as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-August-Renoir, but her distinct style sheds light on subjects that recorded the lifestyle of women and their servants, babies and children in delicate domestic venues. 
Woman at her Toilette 1875-1880
      ON A RECENT VISIT to the Dallas Art Museum's exhibition, Polly was impressed by the enduring charm of Morisot's oeuvre. Each painting seemed overcast in a creamy white blending of colors, which made an impression of serenity and compassion in the domesticity of everyday life, including tender childhood moments, housework, practicing violin or piano, reading or playing with a little dog. Image: Woman at hr Toilette, 1875-1880, oil on canvas, The Art Institute of Chicago, inv. no. 1924.127. Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago/Art Resource, NY.
       Then, too, there is The Cradle, 1872, best know and loved work, as well as Woman at her Toilette 1875-1880 where a woman is seated before a mirror with her back toward us in a swirl of color. Notice that the artist does not show the woman's face reflected in the mirror lending an impression of mystery to the portrait. It is interesting to note that during most of her painting career Morisot did not have a painting studio but produced most of her paintings by setting up an easel in her kitchen or living room.
Eugene Manet ith their daughter Julie 1881
Although many of her paintings were created with interior renderings she also excelled with outdoor themes."En plein air" paintings revealed her innovative treatment of integrating her subjects within the setting with lush brushstrokes and palette.  In 1874 she married Eugene Manet, the younger brother of Edouard Manet and painted this loving scene of Eugene with their daughter Julie at Bougival, 1881. 

       The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with a specific focus on Morisot's pioneering developments as a painter first, woman second. Edited by Sylvie Patry in English, the catalogue was co-published by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc. and The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia. (Hardcover, $55). 
       MARK YOUR CALENDARS. Of special note, The Dallas Museum of Art opens its presentation of the first major U.S. Retrospective of the HOUSE OF DIOR on May 19, 2019. The exhibition celebrates more than 70 years of the French House's legacy and influence and includes New Looks exclusive to the DMA presentation.
       TA Ta Darlings!  I realize that the Dallas Art Museum may not be on your travel agenda, but I trust that this feature has engaged your interest in Berthe Morisot. As a fashionista enthusiast I hope to see you at the Dior exhibition
      Fan mail welcome at pollytalknyc@gmail.com. Visit Polly's other Blogs
at www.pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left-hand column.

1 comment:

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