Monday, August 22, 2011

BERTHE MORISOT


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I took these photos of my little cousin and myself earlier in the summer, and I must say it was quite the challenge. From dressing Adelaide, trying to get her to sit still (hence the coconut marshmallow in her hand), and ultimately enlisting other family members as assistants, it reminded me of just how much work little children can be! The whole affair lasted 20 minutes, and that was about 18 minutes longer than she would have liked. All told, Adelaide was a good sport, and I'm happy to have a little girl to dress up.

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These photos were inspired by the work of Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), a French Impressionist painter.

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Morisot was considered one of les trois grande dames of Impressionism, along with Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt.

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As a descendant of the Rococo master Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and eventually the wife of Édouard Manet's brother, Eugène, Morisot was provisioned with an understanding and capability in art that was rare for a woman of her time.

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Morisot's work was intended as a response to her haute bourgeoisie upbringing, and addressed the cultural restrictions of her gender and social class.

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Morisot and Eugène Manet had a daughter, Julie, in 1848, who became the subject of the greater portion of Morisot's paintings thereafter.

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Julie's memoir, Growing Up with the Impressionists: The Diary of Julie Manet, was published in 1988.

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I am drawn to these works for their subtlety--the beautiful brushstrokes belying a bevy of saturated hues, and the sweet subjects of mother or nurse and child.

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I'm wearing a Plenty dress and Cynthia Rowley x Roxy sandals. Adelaide is wearing a cotton sundress I bought at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet in Hawaii.
[Morisot images from shafe.co.uk, abcgallery.com, and artchive.com, respectively.]

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