Berthe Morisot and the Art of the 18th Century Exhibition at the Marmottan Monet Museum from October 18, 2023, to March 3, 2024
What to expect
The Marmottan Monet Museum, the guardian of treasures from the world of Impressionism and beyond, announces a captivating artistic journey taking place from October 18, 2023, to March 3, 2024: "Berthe Morisot and the Art of the 18th Century." This immersive exhibition, meticulously curated by art historians Marianne Mathieu and Dominique d'Arnoult, with the essential contribution of Claire Gooden, provides an intimate window into the inspirations and resonances of Berthe Morisot's work with 18th-century masters.
Berthe Morisot, a revolutionary figure often underestimated in the world of Impressionism, is brought to light in a new way. Known for her evocative portraits and captivating life scenes, Morisot transcended the artistic boundaries of her time, merging modern sensibility with admiration for the past. The exhibition highlights this interconnection, revealing how artists like Watteau, Boucher, Fragonard, and Perronneau influenced her artistic aesthetic, not through lineage, but through a connection that transcends time and style.
The exhibition is a visual and contextual celebration, featuring sixty-five artworks generously lent by various international museums and private collections. These pieces are not merely displayed; they engage in a dialogue, weaving a story that connects Morisot to her predecessors in an unprecedented way. Visitors are invited to navigate this visual dialogue, immerse themselves in the textures, colors, and emotions, discerning the subtle echoes of the 18th century in Morisot's bold brushstrokes.
This narrative is enriched by previously undiscovered insights from personal correspondence, notebooks, and contemporary reviews, bringing us closer to Morisot, her husband Eugène Manet, and their intimate circle. These personal artifacts offer glimpses into her life, struggles, and creative process, allowing us to grasp the depth of her admiration for masters like Fragonard, even in the absence of familial ties.
Beyond mere admiration, the exhibition reveals how Morisot incorporated the spirit of the 18th century into her practice. She shared with Watteau the delicacy in depicting female figures, borrowed Boucher's sensuality, and found in Perronneau's art a camaraderie in the use of pastels. It was not imitation but a brilliant reinterpretation: Morisot translated the gaiety, lightness, and joie de vivre characteristic of that era into her own unique language.
Recognition of Morisot's talent has grown over time, marked by remarkable exhibitions and renewed critical appreciation. Her star, long overshadowed by her male counterparts and even contemporaries like Mary Cassatt, now shines brightly. This exhibition contributes to that trajectory, demonstrating her undeniable role not only among the Impressionists but also in the broader history of art.
The exhibition "Berthe Morisot and the Art of the 18th Century" is also a testament to international collaboration. The partnership with the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, which recently celebrated Morisot in a historical retrospective, underscores the importance of cultural cooperation. We owe special recognition to Jennifer Scott and her team, as well as to prestigious institutions that made this journey through art loans possible.
By offering affordable admission, the exhibition invites a diverse audience to explore this cross-temporal dialogue between Morisot and the masters of the past. It's a unique opportunity to rediscover an artist who, while firmly rooted in modernity, never forgot the lessons of the past, adapting them to create something vibrant, new, and timeless.
We invite you to secure your tickets for this unique exploration of Berthe Morisot's life and work, an experience that promises to illuminate the mind and enchant the senses. Come witness the encounter between tradition and innovation, and celebrate the genius of an artist who elegantly bridged the two.
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