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MORISOT Berthe (1841-1895)
Eugène Manet à l’île de Wight

Huile sur toile 38 × 46 cm
inv. 6029
Legs Annie Rouart (1993)
On December 22, 1874, Berthe Morisot and Eugène Manet were wed in the church of Notre-Dame-de-Grâcede- Passy in Paris. A brother of the painter Édouard and the politician Auguste, Eugène led a quiet and leisured existence. Coming from a bourgeois milieu, both Berthe and her husband were sheltered from material concerns, which allowed them to devote themselves wholly to their passion for the arts. Encouraged by her husband, Berthe pursued her painting career after marriage and continued to exhibit under her maiden name. Eugène even agreed to pose for his wife on a few rare occasions. This small picture, which she painted during their honeymoon in England, is the first she did of him. Standing in the drawing room of the Globe Cottage Hotel in Cowes, where the couple stayed on the Isle of Wight, Eugène is seen in profile on the left side of the painting. More than in the figure, the painter’s real interest lies in the description of the garden in bloom and the waterfront seen from the window, with Morisot skillfully rendering the effects of the glass’s transparency and the play of light.