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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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Berthe Morisot was a strong character who took on the male-dominated art world to open doors for female artists of the future, whilst also adding a different perspective to the highly respected Impressionist movement. Learn more about her views on art and life with this list of Morisot quotes.

Famous Quotes by Berthe Morisot

I wear myself out trying to render the orange trees so that they're not stiff but like those I saw by Botticelli in Florence. It's a dream that won't come true.

A love of nature is a consolation against failure.

I do not think any man would ever treat a woman as his equal, and it is all I ask because I know my worth.

I have sinned, I have suffered, I have atoned.

I love only extreme novelty or the things of the past.

In love, there's sentiment and passion; I know only sentiment through myself, passion through others. I hear certain voices I know say: sentiment equals love of the intellect; I can answer: passion equals the love of the body.

It is important to express oneself... provided the feelings are real and are taken from your own experience.

I wear myself out trying to render the orange trees so that they're not stiff but like those I saw by Botticelli in Florence. It's a dream that won't come true.

Men are inclined to believe that they fill all of one's life, but as for me, I think that no matter how much affection a woman has for her husband, it is not easy for her to break with a life of work.

My ambition is limited to the desire to capture something transient, and yet, this ambition is excessive.

Real painters understand with a brush in their hand.

There I found Manet, with his hat on in bright sunlight, looking dazed. He begged me to go and see his painting, as he did not dare to move a step.

To catch the fleeting moment—anything, however small, a smile, a flower, a fruit—is an ambition still unfulfilled.

Quotes about Berthe Morisot by Art Historians and Fellow Artists

Berthe Morisot's uniqueness was to ''live'' her painting, and to paint her life... she took up, put down, returned to her brush like a thought that comes to us, is clean forgotten, then occurs to us once again.

Paul Valery

Morisot was barred due to her gender from accessing the full range of subject matter otherwise available to her male Impressionist colleagues, particularly the seedier aspects of urban life - cabarets, cafés, bars, and brothels. Conversely, her paintings reveal her access to virtually all aspects of feminine life in the late-19th century, even private, intimate ones that were generally closed to her male counterparts... Morisot produced canvases that depicted a wide variety of subjects including landscapes, street and urban scenes, nudes, still life's, and portraits. Like her male colleagues, she too developed favorite models - including her own daughter, Julie - and participated in the artistic exchanges of the period due to her connections within the Impressionist circle and beyond, remaining an innovator in painting up until her death.

Well, there’s this to be said for the tag: Morisot is a visual poet of womanhood like perhaps no other painter before or since, with a comprehension of female experience that is at least equal in force to the combined delectations of women by her male peers. You see the distinction in her pictures of fashionably dressed Parisiennes, who are not spectacles but bodily presences in dresses that feel rendered from the inside. Rather than look at these women, you adduce what it’s like to be them.

She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt.