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Berthe Morisot (French, 1841–1895), In the Garden at Maurecourt, oil on canvas, 1884. 21 ¼ x 25 5/8 in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1930.9. Gallery 33
Born to an upper-middle class family, Morisot rejected the social expectations of her class and gender by pursuing a professional career as an artist and even participated in the first Impressionist group exhibition in 1874. In the Garden at Maurecourt is painted in oil paints but with the freedom and spontaneity of a watercolor sketch. Instantly we are drawn to the two girls whose outfits stand out from the surrounding green of the grass. The older girl’s gaze seems to capture our eyes in a staring contest. The painting likely shows Morisot’s little daughter, Julie, and one of the daughters of Morisot’s sister Edma relaxing at Edma’s country home outside Paris.
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