The Pink Dress (Albertie-Marguerite Carre, later Madame Ferdinand-Henri Himmes, 1854–1935) Berthe Morisot Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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This delightful painting has the rather long title of The Pink Dress (Albertie-Marguerite Carré, later Madame Ferdinand-Henri Himmes, 1854–1935). It is dated at around circa 1870, when the artist would still have been relatively young.

The model looks directly at us, with one arm hung over a cushion and her other in her lap. She sits in a relaxed pose on a grey item of furniture, with light coming in from behind her left hand side. This also brightens her stunning pink dress and allows shadows to fall across its contours. The lady looks particularly happy, with a small grin appearing across her face. Her hair is a reddish colour, and is tied carefully, with a dark item of headwear sitting on the top. Her makeup is minimal, and she relies on her natural, youthful beauty. Behind the couch is a darkened part of the room, though to the left we find a small wooden table with a flower pot on top, with red flowers jutting off in different directions. The pot itself is pink, and precisely the same tone as the dress, which brings a great consistency to the overall painting. The cushion on which she rests is decorated in a mustard coloured pattern.

This painting is believed to have been produced at the Villa Fodor. This was the home of Marguerite Carré, the sitter. The artist is believed to have re-worked the piece several times, and required a number of sittings as a result. Perhaps she was still building her confidence and experience at this time, and so more prone to changes of heart and compositional tweaks. The portrait was received with great happiness by the family of the subject, who are known to have appreciated particularly the bright light and positive mood within this piece. Thee overall work is therefore an important addition to the collection of its present owners, The Met in the US.

The Pink Dress can today be found in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the US. Young Woman Seated on a Sofa can also be found here, along with a large number of drawings by this artist. There is a particular interest in the female members of the Impressionist movement in the US because of their desire to balance out the genders within art history, but also because some of those involved were American themselves. The inclusion of artists such as Morisot will help to provide more content for female art followers as well as outlining the lives that they experienced during 19th century France. Most of the sketches within their permanent collection come around 1888-1889, suggesting that they may have been acquired together, perhaps from a generous bequeth via a single collector. They may have chosen to donate some of their possessions to a public collector, for others to enjoy in the future.