Edouard Manet 040Women Artists Painting Natural Beauty of Female Body

Berthe Morisot (1841 – 1895) was a French Painter. She had executed several beautiful paintings in impressionist style. Though Berthe was among the first lot of impressionists, her paintings are undervalued. It is because of 'marginalization of women artists in the field of visual art', perhaps. She was model and sister in law of Eduardo Manet who painted several portraits depicting her beauty.

Berthe Morisot -by Eduardo Manet

The Period : Berthe Morisot was among two painters who had succeeded in displaying their paintings as the original impressionist artist; other artist was Camillle Pissaro. Like her another contemporary, Marry Cassatt, Berth had preferred painting children, woman and the domestic scenes of life. If we look at her diary Growingup with the Impressionists we can have insight in the life of great painters of her time. She had narrated her experience with the artists like Degas, Sisley, and Monet. However the of Renoir and Manet was very valuable for her life and her art.

The Art: Berth had painted several canvases depicting women in various postures. When a woman is painted in a reclining position, the state of her figure indicates rest and comforts. Along with this it also reflect the defencelessness of a person so reclined. Thus the paintings of males are very rare in reclining position. It is because traditionally the male figure is attached with power and activity, these are painted in upright positions. Whenever a male figure is in horizontal state, it shows the weakness or sickness of the person so painted.

Thus the poses of male and female figures differ characteristically. Woman symbolises beauty in reclined position, whereas man would display his defeat or sickness; if painted as reclined.

Girl with Greyhound -by Berthe Morisot

To narrate the beauty of a woman through visualizing the same, here Berth has painted a woman leaning on a bed. The bold brush strokes are the symbol of strength and a sense of immediacy that all the paintings of impressionist style would possess. In the above panting, if the bold brush strokes are any evidence, then Berth was highly influenced by her supporter and brother-in-law artist Eduardo Manet. But the style of sitting of the woman is perfectly feminine. Her feel is womanly, as she seems feeling at home while sitting on the bed. Even the pat dog looks a part of the home and not an outsider.

By using a light palate, Berth had painted enchanting scenes of daily life. About her art, Berth had very humble views: she would say that, " I always say that I'm an artist who works with pictures and words, so I think that the different aspects of my activity, whether it's writing criticism, or doing visual work that incorporates writing, or teaching, or curating, is all of a single cloth, and I don't make any separation in terms of those practices". (Images courtesy By Édouard Manet (1832–1883) Description French painter Date of birth/death 23 January 1832(1832-01-23) 30 April 1883(1883-04-30) Location of birth/death Paris Paris Work location Paris [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons, Girl with Greyhound Wikimedia Commons)


Most of the women artists have tried infusing a phenomenon of new sensibilities to the art of painting in general and the figurative art of painting in particular. The man artists would show female figures generally with their visible passivity; they would prefer to paint the softer side of female models, the glamour and beauty. In her paintings Tamara de Lempicka has tried the story that is different from the regular stream of depicting a female body. We can see the paintings of Mary Cassatt for a new perspective.


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