Berthe Morisot's Images of Women

Berthe Morisot's Images of Women

Book - 1992
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Blackwell North Amer
Berthe Morisot takes her place today as a founder of Impressionism and a leader in women's history. Like her colleagues - Cassatt, Degas, Monet, and Renoir - Morisot sought to represent the experience of modern life, a project that for her entailed rethinking what it meant to be a woman in the nineteenth century. Through close attention to the artist's work and its context, Anne Higonnet shows how Morisot transformed her femininity and its visual culture into Impressionist paintings.
Higonnet presents a clear picture of visual traditions that, though very much a part of Morisot's world and work, figure only marginally in art history. Amateur picture making, for instance, was enormously popular among nineteenth-century women. Higonnet locates Morisot's origins in this private practice, then traces her reactions to an industrialized feminine imagery characterized by consumption and dominated by the fashion plate. This discussion provides a background and context for Morisot's imagery, but also helps to explain the look of her pictures.
Focusing on formal choices - poses, props, composition, and especially brushwork - Higonnet compares Morisot's images of women with those of Cassatt, Degas, and Manet and details the emergence of her stylistic and thematic individuality. She also shows us the critical themes of Morisot's late work: her self-portraiture, her attempts, with Cassatt, at painting the female nude; and her pictorial explorations of the mother-daughter relationship.
Skillfully combining social history, art criticism, and psychological insights, this engaging and abundantly illustrated volume renegotiates the boundaries of art history as well as the terms of women's self-representation.

Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1992
ISBN: 9780674067981
Branch Call Number: 759.4 MORIS
Characteristics: 311 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Morisot, Berthe 1841-1895


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