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Berthe Morisot (1841-1895)
PROPERTY FROM THE JOHN C. WHITEHEAD COLLECTION
Berthe Morisot (1841-1895)

Dans la véranda

Details
Berthe Morisot (1841-1895)
Dans la véranda
signed 'Berthe Morisot' (lower left)
oil on canvas
32 x 39 ½ in. (81.2 x 100.2 cm.)
Painted in Bougival, summer 1884
Provenance
Boussod, Valadon et Cie., Paris.
Ernest Chausson, Paris (acquired from the above, by 1892).
Mrs. Ernest Chausson, Paris (by descent from the above, by 1929); sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 5 June 1936, lot 33.
Private collection, Paris.
Galerie Schmit, Paris.
Acquavella Galleries, Inc., New York (acquired from the above, 1983).
Acquired from the above by Achim Moeller Fine Art on behalf of John C. Whitehead, 1984.
Literature
P.-A. Renoir, Letter to Berthe Morisot, 25 May 1892.
G. Geffroy, "Histoire de l'impressionisme" in La vie artistique, Paris, 1894, vol. 3, pp. 261-267.
"Mort de Mme Berthe Morisot" in L'Art Moderne, 10 March 1895, no. 10, pp. 77-78.
C. Bienne, "Expositions de l'oeuvre de Berthe Morisot" in La Revue Hebdomadaire: Romans, Historie, Voyages, Paris, March 1896, pp. 465-472.
O. Fidière,Petites expositions: L’oeuvre de Berthe Morisot” in La Chronique des arts et de la curiosité, supplement à la Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 14 March 1896, no. 11, p. 98.
C. Mauclair, "L'Art: hommage posthume à Berthe Morisot chez Durand Ruel" in Mercure de France, April 1896, pp. 157-159.
"Chronique de Bruxelles" in Mercure de France, April-June 1904, vol. 50, pp. 256-259.
G. Eekhoud, "Le Salon de La Libre Esthèthique" in Revue d'Art: L'Art Flamand & Hollondais, July-December 1904, vol. 2, pp. 1-5.
C. Mauclair, Maîtres dhier et daujourdhui, Paris, 1907, p. 318.
L. Rouart, “Berthe Morisot” in Art et Décoration, May 1908, vol. 9, p. 176.
M. Angoulvent, Berthe Morisot, Paris, 1933, pp. 100 and 125, no. 151.
"Collection Ernest-Chausson" in Journal Des Debats, 29 May 1936, p. 3.
M. Feuillet, "Ventes d'art et curiosité" in Le Journal, 6 June 1936, p. 5.
Revue de l'art ancient et moderne, Paris, April 1936, vol. 70.
D. Rouart, Correspondance de Berthe Morisot, Paris, 1950, p. 168.
D. Rouart, Berthe Morisot. Paris, 1954, no. 34 (illustrated).
M.-L. Bataille and G. Wildenstein, Berthe Morisot, Catalogue des peintures, pastels et aquarelles, Paris, 1961, p. 33, no. 160 (illustrated, pl. 57).
S. Monneret, L'impressionnisme et son époque: dictionnaire international illustré, Paris, 1978, vol. 1, p. 132.
J. Manet, Journal: Sa jeunesse parmi les peintres impressionnistes et les hommes de lettres, Paris, 1979, p. 88.
J.D. Rey, Berthe Morisot, New York, 1982, p. 62 (illustrated in color, p. 42).
K. Adler, “Berthe Morisot at the National Gallery, Washington, DC,” in Burlington Magazine, vol. 129, no. 87, November 1987, pp. 765-767 (illustrated, p. 766).
Achim Moeller Fine Art, ed., Late XIX and Early XX Century French Masters: The John C. Whitehead Collection, A Collection in Progress, New York, 1987, p. 68 (illustrated in color, p. 69).
A. Higonnet, Berthe Morisot, une biographie, Paris, 1989, pp. 200 and 220.
J.-J. Levêque, Les années impressionnistes, Paris, 1990, p. 474 (illustrated in color).
S.G. Lindsay, “Berthe Morisot: Nineteenth-Century Woman as Professional” in T.J. Edelstein, ed., Perspectives on Morisot, New York, 1990, pp. 84-85, no. 16 (illustrated in color).
C. Berg, F. Durieux and G. Lernout, Le tournant du siècle: Le modernisme et modernité dans la littérature et les arts, Berlin, 1995, p. 447.
A. Clairet, D. Montalant and Y. Rouart, Berthe Morisot: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Montolivet, 1997, p. 193, no. 163 (illustrated; illustrated in color, p. 330).
J. Busse and E. Bénézit, Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintures, scupteurs, dessinateurs et gravures de tour les temps et de tous les pays, Paris, 1999, p. 859.
D. Comerlati, Berthe Morisot: Regards pluriels, exh. cat., Musée de Lodève, Milan, 2006, p. 208.
G.M. Thomas, Impressionist Children: Childhood, Family, and Modern Identity in French Art, New Haven, 2010, pp. 11 and 110 (illustrated, p. 111).
Exhibited
Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Exposition internationale de peinture, May-June 1887, no. 99.
Paris, Boussod, Valadon et Cie., Exposition de tableaux, pastels, et dessins par Berthe Morisot, May-June 1892, no. 7.
Brussels, Salon de La Libre Esthéthique, Catalogue de la premie're exposition a' Bruxelles, February-March 1894, no. 320.
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie., Berthe Morisot, March 1896, no. 28.
Brussels, Salon de La Libre Esthéthique, Exposition Retrospective des Impressionnistes, February-March 1904.
Paris, Grand Palais, Salon dAutomne, October 1907, no. 144.
Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute and The Cleveland Museum of Art, Exhibition of Paintings: Edouard Manet, Pierre Renoir, Berthe Morisot, October-December 1924, no. 14 (titled In The Sun Porch).
Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by Berthe Morisot, January-March 1925, no. 7.
Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune et Cie., Berthe Morisot, au profit des "Amis du Luxembourg", May 1929, no. 51 (illustrated).
London, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., Berthe Morisot, May-June 1936, no. 1.
Washington, D.C., The National Gallery of Art; Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum and South Hadley, Massachusetts, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Berthe Morisot: Impressionist, September 1987-May 1988, p. 104, no. 51 (illustrated in color).
Montclair, The Montclair Art Museum, Late XIX and Early XX Century French Masters: The John C. Whitehead Collection, April-June 1989, pp. 12 and 32, no. 49 (illustrated in color, p. 13).
New York, Achim Moeller Fine Art, The Whitehead Collection: Late 19th and 20th Century French Masters: A Collection in Progress, April-May 1997, pp. 44 and 46, no. 35 (illustrated in color, pp. 45 and 47).
Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection and Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Impressionist Still Life, September 2001-June 2002, pp. 150-151 (illustrated in color).
New York, Achim Moeller Fine Art, From Daumier to Matisse: Selections from the John C. Whitehead Collection, May 2002, pp. 42 and 77-78, no. 6 (illustrated in color, pp. 43 and 77).

Brought to you by

Brooke Lampley
Brooke Lampley

Lot Essay

Morisot created this exquisite portrait of her daughter Julie Manet–the greatest joy and overwhelming focus of her personal life, and the subject at the very heart of her revolutionary artistic practice–during the summer of 1884, when the little girl was five and a half years old. Painted on a monumental scale seldom seen in Morisot’s work, Dans la véranda depicts Julie seated in the sun room of the family’s home in Bougival, examining, or more likely arranging, some freshly cut flowers. A grand expanse of greenery, rendered in exceptionally free and gestural strokes, is visible through the porch windows, which extend the entire width of the canvas. The rooftops of neighboring houses emerge above the trees, while the window at the right reflects back a faint image of the interior itself, initiating a complex play of distance and proximity. Midday sunlight streams into the scene, glinting on the glass pane in streaks, catching on the spiral flutes of the crystal pitcher, and glowing pale gold along Julie’s auburn hair. Bold juxtapositions of opposing complementary hues–orange tresses against green landscape, for instance–resonate and thus heighten the illusion of space, while the interplay of closely related tones, such as the delicately blended greens, blues, and yellows of the garden setting, has the opposite effect. “Divided like a Piet Mondrian by the window framing and the rectangular tabletop,” Charles Stuckey has written, “On the Veranda is among Morisot’s most calculated compositions” (exh. cat, op. cit., 1988, p. 104).
Morisot’s paintings of her only child–nearly fifty canvases by the time that Julie turned twelve–constitute the most extensive and innovative pictorial project of her entire career. “Her daughter became the framework, the very architecture of the whole of her artistic production,” Delphine Montalant has written. “Julie’s constant presence became the substance and leitmotif of her work” (op. cit., 1997, p. 16). Rather than entrusting Julie’s education to the schools, Morisot oversaw her intellectual and creative development at home, hiring piano and violin tutors to foster her musical talent, enlisting Mallarmé to instruct her in literature and composition, and teaching her drawing, painting, and art history herself. “We were always together, Mother and I,” Julie later recalled. “She painted at home during the day and, when we went out, she took along notebooks to sketch me” (quoted in A. Higonnet, Berthe Morisot’s Images of Women, Cambridge, MA, 1992, p. 226). In Morisot’s work, we see Julie grow up as if in a photograph album, an effect of pictorial intimacy that reproduces the artist’s own subjective experience of maternal immersion in the cultivation of her beloved daughter.
Almost as soon as Julie was past infancy, Morisot began to depict her engaged in all forms of independent creative activity, developing an intellectual and artistic life that echoed her mother’s, yet was largely her own. As a toddler, she crafted sand pies in the garden at Bougival; as she grew older, she read, wrote, drew, sewed, and made music, always remaining rooted in the warmth and privacy of the home. “On the Veranda of 1884 conveys this new creative capacity in a subtle but particularly touching manner,” Greg Thomas has written (op. cit., 2010, p. 110). Julie’s intense concentration on the aesthetic act of arranging flowers, her head turned away from the viewer to emphasize her quiet self-absorption, parallels Morisot’s own work as an artist. The use of the window frame to structure the composition underscores the act of looking, while the extraordinarily active surface of the canvas–arguably unmatched until the time of late Monet or even Abstract Expressionism–functions as a veritable register of the process of painting. “Morisot’s work bound Julie increasingly to her not only as the product of her own creation and the object of her loving gaze but also as a kind of partner in art, the one person with whom she could share most fully her own artistic ideas and beliefs,” Thomas continued. “Art became a way simultaneously of constructing her own identity, cultivating Julie’s identity, and binding the two together into what was for Morisot the essential family bond” (ibid., pp. 110-111).
Morisot chose to exhibit Dans la véranda on three different occasions, more than any other painting in her oeuvre, a testament to the high and enduring esteem in which she held this beautiful and boldly compelling composition. Even the magnificent Après le déjeuner–Morisot’s most important contribution to the Seventh Impressionist Exhibition, depicting a young woman seated on the same sun porch at Bougival, at the same bamboo table–was never exhibited again during Morisot’s lifetime (Clairet, Montalant, and Rouart, no. 111; sold, Christie’s, London, 6 February 2013, Lot 11). Dans la véranda was one of five paintings that Morisot submitted to the Exposition Internationale at Galerie Georges Petit in 1887, and she exhibited it again five years later at Boussod & Valadon, in her very first solo show. The canvas sold during that exhibition to the well-known composer Ernest Chausson for the extraordinary sum of 3000 francs–a record price for Morisot at the time, and one that would be surpassed only once in her life, when the French State purchased Jeune femme en robe de bal in 1894 for the prestigious Musée du Luxembourg. At Morisot’s request, Chausson loaned Dans la véranda to the Salon de la Libre Esthétique in Brussels in 1894, which the artist attended along with the teenaged Julie, and the painting remained in his family’s collection for more than forty years.
In 1896, the year after Morisot’s untimely death left Julie an orphan at only sixteen, Dans la véranda was featured in a vast memorial retrospective at Durand-Ruel that Julie organized with the assistance of Degas, Monet, Renoir, and Mallarmé. No fewer than twenty-six collectors loaned paintings to the show, revealing the public dimension of Morisot’s achievement as well as the private vision that had informed her work. In his review of the exhibition in Le Mercure de France, the critic Camille Mauclair singled out the present painting for particular acclaim: “A few masterpieces–Vérandah (owned by Monsieur Ernest Chausson) and the Jeune femme en robe de bal (in the Luxembourg)–are sufficient to guarantee that the name of Madame Berthe Morisot will live on for future generations, even if they must forgo the privilege of appreciating first-hand the beauty and the warmth of this artist and loved one” (quoted in A. Clairet et al., op. cit., 1997, p. 104).

Artist Photo:
Berthe Morisot, Eugène Manet and their daughter Julie in the garden at Bougival, circa 1881.

Figs:
Berthe Morisot, Après le déjeuner, 1881. Sold, Christie’s, London, 6 February 2013, Lot 11.
Berthe Morisot, Eugène Manet et sa fille dans le jardin de Bougival, 1881. Musée Marmottan, Paris.
Berthe Morisot, La leçon de couture, 1884. Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Berthe Morisot, La Lecture, 1888. Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida.

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