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Child in the Rose Garden was completed by Berthe Morisot in 1881 and can be found today in the permanent collection of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne in Germany.
This painting features a young child, of around three or four years of age, happily playing within a delightful, compact garden. The child has light auburn hair, and has a small toy to her side which grabs her attention. She is joined to her left by a thick arrangement of various plants and flowers, some of which reach high into the sky. This provides a strong vertical structure to the composition, and some of the flowers also allow Morisot to bring bright tones of white and yellow into the artwork. We also can see a wooden or metal fence at the back of the garden, through which a small gatepost can be seen. This presumably marks the perimeter of the property, with someone else's garden found behind. The sky bright and blue, and the tiles of another house can be seen right at the back. We can also just make out the side of the family home to the right, though the main focus is afforded to the young child and the flowers around her.
The child is dressed in a pretty blue dress and seems very comfortable within this interesting part of the property. Morisot regularly captured women and children within their family homes, or gardens, and found this a good way of finding subjects that were relaxed and comfortable when posing. Additionally, it would have been difficult for them to arrange to go elsewhere with young children and attempt to provide a static pose for the artist. Morisot understood the demands on mothers of young children and so was more than happy to cater to their needs. She was also keen to reflect real life, with scenes of every day life that told the story of life in France from a female perspective. Mary Cassatt would also do the same, bringing some innovative content to the Impressionist movement.
The inclusion of Child in the Rose Garden within the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne makes it a rare Morisot artwork to be found within Germany. Most of her career resides within her native France, with the rest dispersed evenly right across the world. The Cologne museum focuses on a good breadth of styles, covering the Renaissance all the way up to the Impressionist era. In terms of the latter, you will find a number of related artists here such as Cailebotte, Pissarro, Monet and Sisley, providing a fairly exhaustive survey of the main components that formed this highly influential art movement. It remains one of the biggest cultural attractions within the city of Cologne.