Berthe Morisot (1841-1895): Woman and Child on a Balcony5/20/2021, 4:18:55 PM
Berthe Morisot (1841-1895): Woman and Child on a Balcony, 1872, oil on canvas, 61 x 50 cm., Ittleson Foundation, New York City One of the most acclaimed and renowned works of Berthe Morisot’s career, 'Woman and Child on a Balcony', encapsulates in a single image many of the dominant themes and stylistic characteristics that define the artist’s distinct form of Impressionism. Painted in 1872, from the artist’s home on the rue Franklin in Paris, a fashionably dressed woman and a child stand on a balcony, in the work, overlooking a panoramic vista of the city before them: the green park of the Trocadéro, the river Seine and the wide Champ de Mars spread before the skyline of the city, which is punctuated by the golden dome of the Hôtel des Invalides glowing in the distance. Exemplifying the artist’s nascent impressionist style, the painting is composed with a combination of spontaneous, softly feathered brushwork and areas of fine, exquisite detail. Against the lightly rendered background, the just visible red flowers on the upper right of the composition are depicted with delicate precision, as is the blue ribbon in the child’s auburn hair and the diaphanous black silk ruffles of the woman’s elegant dress.