cover image Berthe Morisot, Impressionist

Berthe Morisot, Impressionist

Charles F. Stuckey. Hudson Hills Press, $19.95 (228pp) ISBN 978-0-933920-03-3

Morisot was a gutsy pioneer among the French impressionists. As a standard-bearer of the avant-garde, she created a scandal by helping to organize a public auction of their works, something very few artists had dared to do. Defying the advice of her parents and Manet, she remained in Paris when Prussian troops besieged the city. In her artistic technique she was no less daring. Around 1874, in pictures of tourists and yacht-filled rivers, she broke through to an abbreviated, shorthand style ahead of her contemporaries. Disregarding her own view that Monet had taken landscape painting to its farthest limits, her late oils of gardens are brilliant fireworks of color. This catalogue of a retrospective exhibition that is to tour the country stands on its own as a valuable study. What it lacks is a sense of the inner woman, a shortcoming that has bedeviled most books about her. BOMC featured dividend. (November 20)