Berthe Morisot

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Berthe Morisot
A Woman and Child Seated on the Grass
Watercolor over graphite.
6 1/2 x 8 11/16 inches (164 x 221 mm)
Thaw Collection.

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Signed at lower left, in pen and ink, "Berthe Morisot".

Mme Paule Gobillard; Valéry family; Galerie Hopkins-Thomas, Paris, 1993; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 271, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 87.


Watermark: none.
A founding member of the Impressionists, Berthe Morisot's work aptly demonstrates the philosophy of the group, which valued and sought to capture the transient effects of natural sunlight in scenes set outdoors. Morisot exploited the potential of watercolor, a portable and fluid medium, while working quickly en plein air. In this sheet Morisot depicted a moment between her younger sister Yves and Yves's daughter as they relax on a hillside outside of Cambrai, a town near the Belgian border, where Morisot visited them during the fall of 1875. She laid out the composition and swiftly characterized her subjects in a deft pencil sketch before finishing the scene in watercolor. To heighten the contrast between the lush green grass and the figures' white garments, Morisot relied on a reserve of the crisp white paper. Morisot's productivity continued unabated throughout her marriage and the birth and rearing of her own child, and she continued to exhibit her work in seven of the eight Impressionist exhibitions.

Associated names: 

Gobillard, Paule, Mme., former owner.
Valéry family, former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.

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