NEWS: Dulwich Picture Gallery Announces Berthe Morisot Exhibition For 2023

The gallery has announced details of its 2023 exhibition examining the work of the renowned Impressionist.

Berthe Morisot, Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight 1885 © Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris.

On display from the 5th April 2023, the Dulwich Picture Gallery will present Berthe Morisot: Impressionism and the 18th Century, the first major UK exhibition exploring the work of the artist since 1950.

Created in collaboration with the Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, the display will bring together forty of Morisot’s most important works from international collections, many never seen before in the UK, to reveal the artist as a trailblazer of the movement as well as uncovering a previously untold connection between her work and 18th century culture, with around 20 works for comparison.

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895) was known for for her swiftly painted glimpses of contemporary life and intimate domestic scenes and defied social norms to become one of the movement’s most influential figures. This new exhibition will use new research and previously unpublished archival material from the Musée Marmottan Monet to trace the roots of her inspiration, revealing the ways in which Morisot engaged with 18th century art and culture, while also highlighting the originality of her artistic vision, which ultimately set her apart from her predecessors.

Highlights of the exhibition will include Eugène Manet on the Isle of Wight (1875), painted while Morisot was on honeymoon in England, and her striking Self-Portrait (1885), which will appear alongside Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s Young Woman (c.1769) from Dulwich Picture Gallery’s collection. Apollo revealing his divinity to the shepherdess Issé, after François Boucher (1892), In the Apple Tree (1890) and Julie Manet with her Greyhound Laerte (1893) are among the nine pieces of work on loan from the Musée Marmottan Monet.

At the centre of the display will be the story of “rediscovery” of 18th century art in France and its impact on Impressionism with an accompanying body of work by artists including François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Antoine Watteau. After falling out of favour following the French Revolution, the art of the ancien regime was enthusiastically acquired by 19th century collectors and reintroduced to the public through exhibitions and new rooms devoted to its artists at the Musée du Louvre.

This in turn will mean that the display will demonstrate the numerous ways in which Morisot engaged with 18th century themes, drawing on her depictions of everyday life, fashion, interiors and intimate scenes. 

Jennifer Scott, Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery, said: “Morisot was an innovator and a leader of the Impressionist movement. We are excited to be working in partnership with Musée Marmottan Monet to bring a remarkable body of Morisot’s work to UK audiences, and to present ground-breaking comparisons to reveal the inspiration behind Impressionism itself.”

Berthe Morisot: Impressionism and the 18th Century will be co-curated by Dr Lois Oliver (independent curator, Associate Professor in History of Art at the University of Notre Dame and Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute), Dr Marianne Mathieu (Head Curator at Musée Marmottan Monet) and Dr Dominique d’Arnoult (independent curator and Professor of Art History at the University of Lausanne).

Berthe Morisot: Impressionism and the 18th Century will be on display at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from the 5th April until the 10th September 2023.

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