Bassin de Port de Fécamp by Berthe Morisot
Bassin de Port de Fécamp by Berthe Morisot Bassin de Port de Fécamp by Berthe Morisot Bassin de Port de Fécamp by Berthe Morisot Bassin de Port de Fécamp by Berthe Morisot Bassin de Port de Fécamp by Berthe Morisot
Bassin de Port de Fécamp by Berthe Morisot

Bassin de Port de Fécamp by Berthe Morisot

  • This light-filled pastel was composed by the famed Impressionist Berthe Morisot
  • A rare subject for the artist, the work embodies her signature Impressionist style
  • It was composed in Fécamp in 1874, the same year as the first Impressionist exhibition
  • Morisot is recognized as one of the foremost 19th-century French painters
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Item No. 30-9908
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description
Berthe Morisot
1841-1895 | French

Bassin de Port de Fécamp
(Harbor in the Port of Fécamp)

Stamp signed (lower right)
Pastel on paper laid on board

Along with her contemporary Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot is celebrated as one of art history’s leading 19th-century female artists. A member of the French Impressionists since the group's beginning, Morisot was the only female to exhibit at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. It was that same year that she composed the present pastel, which reveals the long, loose strokes and rich coloring for which her celebrated compositions are renowned.

Entitled Bassin de Port de Fécamp, the work was composed by Morisot while summering in Fécamp, a resort town in Normandy in northern France. She vacationed there with her aunt and the Manet family, including Edouard Manet, her close friend and fellow Impressionist, and Eugène Manet, her future husband. Morisot painted a string of works while staying in Fécamp, a handful of them being marine and port scenes such as the present piece. She worked alongside Eugène Manet, who was also a painter, and who was attracted to the bustling port of the resort town. By the end of the summer, the pair were engaged, and by December of that same year, they were married.

Morisot's works from this period already reveal the development of her highly modern Impressionist style. This pastel, painted en plein air, embodies the informality of the Impressionist approach, which sought to capture the fleeting atmosphere of a moment in a single composition. Delicate accents of color are used for the sheep, water and sky and, similarly, to indicate highlights in the verdant grass, a characteristic of works by Morisot’s early teacher Camille Corot. It also represents a rare subject for the painter, who more typically captured portraits of women and domestic scenes.

Morisot created art that was inseparable from her life. Her career coincided with the explosion of Impressionism in Paris at the end of the 19th century, and she was one of the few women in the exclusive circle of close-knit male Impressionists. She had an extraordinary relationship with Edouard Manet, and both artists’ work was highly influenced by the other.

Born in Bruges, France, in 1841, Berthe Morisot came from a wealthy family. Like most girls of her class, she received private art lessons beginning at the age of 11. Her teacher, the painter Joseph Guichard, helped to introduce her around the Parisian art scene. Through him, Morisot made the acquaintances of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Édouard Manet, both of whom would have a profound impact on her career and artistic style.

From 1864 until 1873, Morisot exhibited regularly at the Paris Salons. In 1874, she joined the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs — the group that would eventually become known as the Impressionists. They held their first exhibition that same year, and Morisot would go on to exhibit in all but one of the Impressionist shows. Today, Morisot's drawings, watercolors and oils are in all of the major museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the National Gallery of Art(Washington D.C.), the Tate Modern (London), the Louvre (Paris) and the Musee d’Orsay (Paris).

Circa 1874

Board: 12 3/4” high X 14 1/4” wide
Frame: 21” high x 24 3/8” wide

References:
Berthe Morisot: Catalogue des Peintures, Pastels et Aquarelles, 1961, by M.L. Bataille and G. Wildenstein, p. 52, no. 430, fig. 423 (illustrated)
specifications
Artist: Morisot, Berthe
Framed:24.375"W x 21.0"H
Unframed:14.25"W x 12.75"H
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:France
Subject:Marine
Depth:2.5 Inches
Width:24.375 Inches
Height:21.0 Inches
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First Female Impressionist?

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Morisot, Berthe

First Female Impressionist Berthe Morisot was the grand-niece of the renowned Rococo painter Jean-Honore Fragonard She was also the only woman to exhibit with the French Impressionists at their first show in at the gallery of the photographer Felix Nadar...
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