|Self Portrait by Berthe Morisot, 1885|
"Berthe Morisot (January 14, 1841 – March 2, 1895) was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists. She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt.
"In 1864, she exhibited for the first time in the highly esteemed Salon de Paris. Sponsored by the government, and judged by academicians, the Salon was the official, annual exhibition of the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris. Her work was selected for exhibition in six subsequent Salons until, in 1874, she joined the "rejected" Impressionists in the first of their own exhibitions, which included Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley. It was held at the studio of the photographer Nadar.
"She became the sister-in-law of her friend and colleague, Édouard Manet, when she married his brother, Eugène."
"Not only are the women impressionists' self portraits rare, they are remarkably reticent. Berthe Morisot had a little flurry of self-portraiture in 1885 [illustrated above], with a pastel head and another related to the self-portrait with her daughter. Mary Cassatt has left an unfinished gouache of herself at the end of the 1870s which is as unrevealing of her looks — she averts her eyes from the spectator — as it is of her profession — her hands are clasped in her lap. About two years later she did a self-portrait at the drawing board and this too is strangely retiring: the board is only suggested and her face is deeply shadowed."
"The improved institutional opportunities for women to train as artists in the second half of the nineteenth century produced no immediate explosion of self-portraits in response. The reason for this was the shakiness of the women's position. However seriously they took themselves, in many ways the art world was not ready for them."
Young Girl with a Parrot
by Berthe Morisot (ca. 1873, Pastel on Paper)
(compare with Fridal Kahlo's Self Portrait with Parrot)