MORISOT Berthe (1841 ; 1895)
Au bal

toile (peinture à l’huile) H. 62 cm ; l. 52 cm ; H. 81 cm ; l. 70.5 cm
Signé en bas à droite : "Berthe Morisot".
inv. 4020
don Donop de Monchy Eugène et Victorine (donateurs) (23/05/1940 acquis)
In 1874, Berthe Morisot was part of the first exhibition of the Société Anonyme des Artistes Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs et Lithographes mounted in Paris in the former studio of the photographer Nadar. She would prove one of the most faithful exhibitors at the events launched by the Society, known today as the Impressionist exhibitions. In 1876, she participated in the second of these group shows, notably exhibiting Woman with a Fan. The piece belongs to a group of portraits depicting young women in ball gowns. Here Berthe had an unknown model sit for her in her apartment on Avenue d’Eylau—the family home is recognizable from the lush plants in the background. The artist seems to have been most interested in rendering the dress and its accessories. The chiffon of the bodice, the gloves, and the fan—with white dominating throughout— present a stark contrast with the model’s hair, eyes, and certain dark flowers. Touches of yellow, red, blue, and green brighten this oil painting and fill out the restrained palette, which is characteristic of her work in 1875.