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Berthe MorisotEnlarge image

Berthe Morisot, 1872-1874, printed 1884

Édouard Manet
French, 1832 - 1883
crayon lithograph with scraping on chine collé
Printed by Imprimerie Lemercier
45.1 x 31.6 cm irregular; image: 20.4 x 14.2 cm
Purchased 1961
National Gallery of Canada (no. 9701)

After meeting Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) and her sister Edme in the summer of 1868, Manet wrote to Fantin-Latour: "The young Morisot sisters are delightful. It's a shame they aren't men. They could, however, as women, serve the cause of painting by each marrying an academician and setting those doddering old fogeys fighting among themselves." Morisot, who in fact would serve the cause of painting as a central figure in the Impressionist group, married Manet's brother Eugène in December 1874. Manet must have made this bold portrait of his sister-in-law to commemorate that event, basing the image on a painting he had executed in 1872.

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