Berthe Morisot, Manet's most mysterious model, was a painter in his own right, selling his painting and exposing it to quolibets and praise.
In 1874, the year of the first impressionist exhibition in which she participated, Madame Eugène Manet was no longer a beginner. With her sister Edma, she exhibited small paintings, fantasy figures and landscapes at the Salon in 1864, in the manner of Corot from whom they had received some advice.
After Manet's meeting in 1867, Berthe's painting would evolve rapidly and become more daring. Unlike him, it was one of all Impressionist exhibitions except for the one in 1879.
A year later, she shows the Woman powdering, a subject adjusted to her taste of light tones, bright, silvery grey or pale pink, sometimes closer to pastel than oil. The critics retain this delicacy to better knock out the rest of the group.
Albert Wolff, whose portrait Manet then sketched out, wrote as follows: "There is also a woman in the group as in all the famous bands; her name is Berthe Morisot and she is curious to observe. In her, feminine grace is maintained amid the excesses of a delirious spirit.
Berthe Morisot participated, from 1874, in most of the exhibitions organized by the Impressionists. Thanks to them, his palette becomes clearer.
Three rows of black pearls to make the light of an intimate and family scene vibrate: pretty brand of femininity that these jet jewels, worn by this young woman to her toilet, contrast sharply with the white undressed and the partially untied hair of the model.
From this intimate scene, of a delicate sensuality, Berthe Morisot gives here a presentation of a luminous modernity.
Length: 42 cm.
Weight: 66 g.
Origin: Young woman powdering herself (1877).
Museum: Paris - Musée d'Orsay.
Material: Glass pearls.
Artistic period: 19th century.
Artist: Berthe Morisot (1841-1895).