Berthe Morisot

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Berthe Morisot
Study for The Cherry Tree
Watercolor over pencil on cream wove paper.
17 7/16 x 10 7/8 inches (443 x 275 mm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. C. Douglas Dillon.

Atelier stamp at lower left and lower right, "Berthe Morisot" (partly effaced).
Watermark: Letters "MB", entwined, monogram.

Studio of the artist; Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Rouart, Paris; Mr. and Mrs. Denis Rouart, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Wildenstein and Company, New York (?; 1961?); Grant J. Pick, Chicago; by bequest to the Art Institute of Chicago (1963); by which consigned to Wildenstein and Company, New York (1967); from whom purchased by Mr. and Mrs. C. Douglas Dillon, New York (1968).

Exposition de pastels, aquarelles, dessins, crayons de Berthe Morisot, exh. cat., Paris, Galerie L. Dru, 1926, no. 72.
Quelques tableaux,études, pastels, aquarelles et dessins de Berthe Morisot, exh. cat., Paris, Galerie L. Dru, Quelques tableaux, [1928], no. 9.
Exposition d'oeuvres de Berthe Morisot, exh. cat., Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, 1929, no. 105.
Monique Angoulvent, Berthe Morisot, Paris, [1933], no. 502 [not repr.]; Elizabeth Mongan et al., Berthe Morisot: Drawings / Pastels / Watercolors / Paintings, New York, 1960, pl. I (frontispiece) in color, under no. 45, p. 124.
Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), exh. cat., Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie, 1941, no. 206, p. 39 [not repr.].
Exposition Berthe Morisot (1841-1895). Peintures, aquarelles, dessins, exh. cat., Albi, Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, 1958, no. 86.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, New York, Charles E. Slatkin Galleries, San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, and Minneapolis Institute of Fine Arts, Berthe Morisot: An Exhibition of Drawings, 1960-1961 (as Rouart Collection).
Alain Clairet, "'Le Cerisier' de Mézy," L'Oeil 358 (May 1985), p. 48, fig. 2 (incorrectly identified as in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago).
Kathleen Adler and Tamar Garb, Berthe Morisot, Oxford, 1987, pp. 76-79, 121, pl. 56 in color (as New York, private collection).
Berthe Morisot, Impressionist, exh. cat. by Charles F. Stuckey and William P. Scott, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, Mass., 1987-88, pp. 152, 207.
Anne Higonnet, Berthe Morisot, New York, 1990, p. 206-7.
Anne Higonnet, Berthe Morisot's Images of Women, Cambridge, 1992, p. 13-15.
Alain Clairet, Delphine Montalant, Yves Rouart, Berthe Morisot 1841-1895, Catalogue Raisonné de l'Oeuvre Peint, Montolivet, 1997, p. 253.
Berthe Morisot 1841-1895, exh. cat., Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 2002, under no. 128, p. 384 and n. 4.


This watercolor was made in preparation of The Cherry Tree (Le Cerisier), which Morisot painted in three versions in 1891 (now in the Musée Marmottan, Paris; a private American collection [BW no. 276], and formerly in the collection of M. and Mme Denis Rouart [BW no. 274]). It is one of two studies in watercolor for the composition, and depicts the artist's daughter, Julie Manet, standing on a ladder picking cherries from the tree while the artist's niece Jeannie Gobillard holds up a basket to catch the fruit. More studies for The Cherry Tree (Le Cerisier) survive than for any other painting by Morisot, and arguably it was the most ambitious project of her career.

Associated names: 

Rouart, Ernest, former owner.
Rouart, Ernest, Mrs., former owner.
Rouart, Denis, former owner.
Rouart, Denis, Mrs., former owner.
Pick, Grant J., former owner.
Dillon, C. Douglas (Clarence Douglas), 1909-2003, former owner.
Dillon, Douglas, Mrs., former owner.

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