Berthe Morisot, French, 1841-1895
Title: Le Corsage Noir
Date: 1878
Medium: Oil on canvas
73 x 65 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1936
Object Number: NGI.984
DescriptionBerthe Morisot exhibited at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874 and at most of the group’s subsequent shows. That same year she married Edouard Manet’s brother Eugène. With his support, she continued to paint and exhibit professionally throughout her life. Morisot’s paintings typically portray domestic scenes and the activities of middle-class women - the type of subject matter that was considered appropriate for a woman artist belonging to the haute bourgeoisie.
Le Corsage Noir (the Black Bodice) is one of several portrait-style paintings of fashionable women in interior settings that Morisot produced between 1878 and 1880. It shows a young woman (posed by a professional model) dressed in evening attire. The gown she wears belonged to the artist who had worn it in formal studio photographs in 1875. As the title suggests, Morisot intended this work to be regarded as an Impressionistic exercise in light and colour. The dress, though described as ‘black’, has been painted with feathery strokes of dark blue pigment. This painting remained in the possession of the artist’s daughter until 1936. It is shown hanging in the background of Morisot’s La Coiffure (1894; Museo Nacional de Bella Artes, Buenos Aires).

March 2016

ProvenanceMr and Mrs Ernest Rouart (née Julie Morisot), Paris; Knoedler Gallery, London; purchased, Knoedler Gallery, London, 1936
Exhibition HistoryBerthe Morisot. Exposition de son oeuvre, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1896

Berthe Morisot, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 23 April - 10 May 1902

Institute Francais, St Petersburg, 1912

Exposition d'Art Moderne, Galerie Manzi-Joyant & Cie, Paris, 1912

Berthe Morisot, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 7 - 22 November 1919

Réunion d'oeuvres par Berthe Morisot, Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Paris, 20 June - 8 July 1922

Le Cercle de la Renaissance, Paris, 1929

Berthe Morisot, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 6 - 24 May 1929

Berthe Morisot, Leicester Galleries, London, March - April 1930

Berthe Morisot, Madame Eugène Manet, M. Knoedler & Co., London, May - June 1936

Exhibition of Modern Continental Paintings, National College of Art, Dublin, 1944

Centenary Exhibition, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, October - December 1964

Berthe Morisot - Impressionist, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1987

Peinture française du XIXe siècle: Collection Chester Beatty de la Galerie Nationale d'Irlande, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Calais; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Quimper; Musée Sainte-Croix, Poitiers, 1989

French 19th and 20th Century Paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland: Corot to Picasso, Daimaru Museum, Tokyo, 5 September-17 September 1996; Daimaru Museum, Kyoto, 10 October-22 October 1996; Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Yamanashi, 26 October-2 December 1996; Daimaru Museum, Umeda,Osaka, 22 January-9 February 1997; Aomori Municpal Gallery of Art, Aomori, 2 April-20 April 1997

Impressionism: Painting Quickly in France, 1860-1890, National Gallery, London, 1 November 2000 - 28 January 2001; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, 2 March - 20 May 2001

Retrospective Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Palais des beaux-arts, Lille, 8 March - 9 June 2002

Women in Impressionism - From Mythical Feminine to Modern Women, NY Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, 6 October 2006 - 21 January 2007

Impressionist Interiors, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 10 May - 10 August 2008

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, 8 March - 1 July 2012

Shades of Grey: Painting without Colour, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 1 June 2013 - 17 January 2013
Label TextMorisot painted landscapes and portraits but mainly focused on scenes of middle-class domestic life. In 1874, she married Edouard Manet’s brother, Eugène. With his support, she continued to paint professionally throughout her life. In the late 1870s, Morisot made several portrait-style pictures of fashionably dressed women. Here, a young woman (posed by a professional model) wears evening attire. Morisot has depicted her elegant costume and the interior setting with light feathery brushstrokes. The picture is an Impressionist exercise in light and colour.

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