Berthe Morisot was a friend of Manet’s and a central member of the Impressionist circle. This image of Morisot’s daughter, Julie, and her nanny was painted in the garden of a neighbor. The handling is very free, and the variegated brushwork captures the sense of a wild garden, as the two figures are framed and almost consumed by their surroundings. The blue, brown, and white tones of the figures are dispersed throughout the canvas. Morisot painted a large number of mother and child images. This reflects not only the prevailing attitude as to which subjects were “suitable” for a woman artist but also the interest in painting everyday life, which was so central to Impressionism.
Oil on canvas
23 5/8 x 28 7/8 inches (60 x 73.1 cm)
Purchased by Margaret Davies, date unknown
National Museum Wales; Miss Margaret S.
Davies Bequest, 1963 (NMWA 2491)
Courtesy American Federation of Arts