This exhibition highlights Berthe Morisot’s approach to portraiture, her focus on the life of women in modern Paris, and her singular role in the French Impressionist movement. Following the recent, internationally touring retrospective of her work, Berthe Morisot: Impressionist Original features paintings from public and private lenders, including four important works in Houston collections that could not be included in the traveling exhibition.
Morisot’s domestic scenes focus on children, family, and flowers, capturing a woman’s life in the late 19th century. Through her portrayal of the human figure, Morisot (1841–1895) was able to explore the themes of modern life that came to define Impressionism: the intimacy of contemporary bourgeois living and leisure activities; women’s fashions; and domestic work. At the same time, she blurs distinctions between interior and exterior, public and private, finished and unfinished.
The exhibition illuminates Morisot’s role as an essential figure within the Impressionist movement. One of the founding members of the Impressionist group—along with Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley—Morisot achieved critical and commercial success during her lifetime. Her work reveals a painter who, against the norms of her time and her elevated social background, became an important member of the Parisian avant-garde from the late 1860s until her death.
Berthe Morisot: Impressionist Original | October 20, 2019—January 12, 2020
► Concurrent Exhibition
Monet to Picasso: A Very Private Collection
Related publications are available through the MFA Shop (713.639.7360) and the Museum’s Hirsch Library (713.639.7325).
► Audio Guide
The optional audio guide delves deeper into selected works of art, with commentary and insights from MFAH curators. Offered in both English and Spanish. Included in the ticket price, based on availability. Audio-guide players are located at the exhibition entrance.