Visual Art Impressionist Fact of the Day
posted by July 1 at 14:46 PMon
Berthe [Morisot] had already made a sale or two through a dealer. But CornÚlie [Berthe’s mother] was sceptical. Degas was hugely complimentary, but a few compliments from fellow artists seemed to have gone to Berthe’s head. ‘Are they really sincere?’ CornÚlie asked Edma [Berthe’s sister]. ‘Puvis [de Chavannes, another painter and a suitor of Berthe’s] has told her that her work has such subtlety and distinction that it makes others miserable… Frankly, is it as good as all that?’ Furthermore, how was any of this supposed to help her marriage prospects? ‘Whenever she works she has an anxious, unhappy, almost fierce look… This existence of hers is like the ordeal of a convict in chains, and I should like to enjoy greater peace of mind in my old age.’
*From Sue Roe’s The Private Lives of the Impressionists, which I’m reading in honor of the exhibition at SAM
Berthe Morisot’s La lecture (Reading) (1869-70), a portrait of her mother and sister Edma.