Berthe Morisot

Flammarion. Apr. 2018. 224p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9782080203458. $29.95. FINE ARTS
Originally published in 1982 and updated in 2010, this work’ slatest edition, with a foreword by curator Sylvie Patry examines the formal qualities of impressionist Berthe Morisots’ use of color, form, style, and brushstrokes. Art historian and curator Rey (Monet: Water Lilies) praises Morisots’ work but at the same time uses reductive and feminizing language to describe its qualities. Patrys’ introduction counters this description, stating that Morisot thought of herself as an artist, not a woman artist, and wanted to be judged in this way alongside her male colleagues such as Monet, Degas, and Renoir. Rey includes quotes from Morisots’ unpublished notebooks and a valuable section with correspondences from noted writers of the day, such as Stéphane Mallarmé and Émile Zola, with commentary by Rey.
VERDICT Lovely color images and details of the artworks comprise this excellent overview of an important impressionist artist. Readers should take note that this is the same book as the 2010 edition with the same content, likely republished to coincide with the traveling 2018 Berthe Morisot exhibition.

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