The Pink Dress (Albertie-Marguerite Carré, later Madame Ferdinand-Henri Himmes, 1854–1935)

Berthe Morisot (French, Bourges 1841–1895 Paris)

ca. 1870
Oil on canvas
21 1/2 x 26 1/2 in. (54.6 x 67.3 cm)
Credit Line:
The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    The fashionable portraitist Jacques-Emile Blanche witnessed this painting being made at the Villa Fodor, the family home of Marguerite Carré, the sitter: "One day, she [Morisot] painted before my eyes a charming portrait of Mlle Marguerite in a light pink dress; indeed, the entire canvas was light. Here Berthe Morisot was fully herself, already eliminating from nature both shadows and half-tones." But the painting required several sessions, since Morisot "constantly changed her mind and painted over what she had done once the session was at an end . . . ." The Pink Dress is one of the artist's few surviving early works.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower right): Berthe Mor[isot]

  • Provenance

    the sitter, Passy (given to her by the artist; possibly sold to Santamarina); Antonio Santamarina, Buenos Aires (probably by 1932, definitely by 1933–74; his sale, Sotheby's, London, April 2, 1974, no. 13 for £44,000 to Michel Strauss for Annenberg); Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, Calif. (1974–his d. 2002)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Bernheim-Jeune. "Cent Œuvres de Berthe Morisot (1841–1895)," November 7–22, 1919, no. 59 (as "Portrait de Mme H.," possibly this picture).

    Buenos Aires. La Asociación Amigos del Arte. "Maestros del Impresionismo," 1932, no. 76 [see Exh. Buenos Aires 1939].

    Buenos Aires. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. "Escuela francesa siglos XIX y XX," October 20–November 5, 1933, no. 84 (as "Femme en rose/Mujer del traje rosa," lent by Sr. Antonio Santamarina).

    Buenos Aires. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. "La pintura francesa de David à nuestros días," July 18–August 1939, no. 103 (as "Mujer vestida de rosa," lent by Sr. Antonio Santamarina, Buenos Aires).

    Buenos Aires. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. "El impresionismo frances en las colecciones argentinas," September–October 1962, no. 38 (as "Jeune dame en rose," lent by Antonio Santamarina).

    Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 21–September 17, 1989, unnumbered cat.

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 6–August 5, 1990, unnumbered cat.

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," August 16–November 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," June 4–October 13, 1991, unnumbered cat.

  • References

    Jacques-É[mile]. Blanche. "Les Dames de la grande-rue." Les Écrits nouveaux 4 (March 1920), pp. 19–20, describes watching Marguerite Carré pose for this picture at the Villa Fodor over several months because Morisot would paint over each day's efforts.

    Monique Angoulvent. Berthe Morisot. Paris, [1933], p. 120, no. 50, calls it "Mlle Carré en toilette rose" and dates it 1874.

    Germain Bazin. La pintura francesa de David a nuestros días. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, 1939, p. 103, no. 103.

    René Huyghe. "L'esprit du XIXe siècle." Promethée, n.s., 20 (May 1939), ill. p. 48.

    René Huyghe. La pintura francesa desde 1800 hasta nuestros dias. Exh. cat.Paris, 1939, p. 48, ill. (color).

    M[arie].-L[ouise]. Bataille and G[eorges]. Wildenstein. Berthe Morisot: Catalogue des peintures, pastels, et aquarelles. Paris, 1961, p. 25, no. 31, fig. 104, call it "La robe rose" and date it 1873; identify the sitter as Mlle Carré, who later became Mme Himmes, an early owner of the work; place it in the collection of M. Santa Marina [sic], Buenos Aires.

    Kathleen Adler and Tamar Garb in The Correspondence of Berthe Morisot. 3rd rev. ed. [1st ed. French 1950; 2nd ed. English 1957]. London, 1986, pp. 116, 219 n. 46, Rouart [editor of the 1st edition] erroneously asserts that this picture was included in the 6th Impressionist exhibition of 1881; Adler and Garb state that Valentine Carré, Marguerite's sister, was the sitter.

    Fronia E. Wissman in The New Painting: Impressionism 1874–1886. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. San Francisco, 1986, p. 354, notes that this painting was previously thought to have been no. 58, "Jeune femme en rose," in the 6th Impressionist exhibition of 1881.

    Charles F. Stuckey in Charles F. Stuckey and William P. Scott. Berthe Morisot, Impressionist. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1987, pp. 26–27, calls it a portrait of Marguerite Carré, who lived down the street from the Morisots and dates it late 1868; considers it a "simple exercise" that follows the example of Manet's "Reading" (1868; Musée d'Orsay, Paris), which Morisot observed in progress in Manet's studio.

    Colin B. Bailey. "La Collection Annenberg." L'Oeil nos. 408–9 (July–August 1989), p. 45, fig. 4.

    Catherine Barnett. "A Very Private View: Inside Walter Annenberg's Personal Paradise." Art & Antiques 6 (March 1989), p. 99, ill. (color), notes the influence of Corot in this picture.

    Jack Flam. "In a Different Light." Art News 88 (Summer 1989), ill. p. 117 (color).

    Colin B. Bailey in Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, pp. 22–25, 145–47, ill. (color and black and white), dates it about 1870 and remarks that it is one of only about two dozen paintings that survive from the decades before Morisot's thirtieth birthday; confirms that the model is Marguerite rather than her older sister Valentine; discusses the numerous changes that Morisot made to the canvas; states that it could not have been the portrait of a woman in pink exhibited by Morisot in the 6th Impressionist exhibition, citing a contemporary review by Nina de Villars that describes the sitter of that painting as wearing earrings [see Ref. Berson 1996]; also doubts that this picture was exhibited in Morisot's 1902 and 1919 retrospectives.

    Gary Tinterow. "Miracle au Met." Connaissance des arts no. 472 (June 1991), p. 36.

    Anne Higonnet. Berthe Morisot's Images of Women. Cambridge, Mass., 1992, p. 156, fig. 58, dates it 1873; comments that it is uncertain whether Valentine or Marguerite Carré posed for this picture.

    Susanna de Vries-Evans. The Lost Impressionists: Masterpieces from Private Collections. Niwot, Colo., 1992, p. 66, ill. (color), remarks that the sitter is believed to be Marguerite Carré.

    "Documentation: Volume I, Reviews and Volume II, Exhibited Works." The New Painting: Impressionism 1874–1886. San Francisco, 1996, vol. 2, p. 182, notes that the contemporary review by de Villars rules out the possibility that this picture was included in the 6th Impressionist exhibition [see vol. 1, p. 371; Ref. Bailey 1991].

    Alain Clairet, Delphine Montalant, and Yves Rouart. Berthe Morisot, 1841–1895: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Montolivet, 1997, p. 129, no. 31, ill., date it 1873; mistakenly identify the model as Valentine Carré; list its inclusion in the 6th Impressionist exhibition and Morisot's 1902 and 1919 retrospectives [see Refs. Bailey 1991, Berson 1996].

    Ira Berkow. "Jewels in the Desert." Art News 97 (May 1998), p. 148, ill. (color).

    Hugues Wilhelm in Berthe Morisot, 1841–1895. Exh. cat., Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille. Paris, 2002, p. 136, refers to it as a portrait of Valentine Carré.

    Colin B. Bailey in Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. 95–102, no. 19, ill. (color), states that recent X-radiography confirms Morisot's extensive reworking of this painting.

    Jennifer T. Criss in Material Women, 1750–1950: Consuming Desires and Collecting Practices. Surrey, 2009, pp. 299–300, 311 n. 19, notes that this is the first work by Morisot to include the flat, circular Japanese fan called an "uchiwa," which signals the social status of the sitter and artist; suggests that this picture was commissioned as an engagement or wedding portrait "given the prominently displayed ring on [the sitter's] left hand".

    R[ichard]. S[hone]. "Supplement: Acquisitions (2000–10) of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York." Burlington Magazine 152 (December 2010), p. 840, fig. IV (color).

  • Notes

    Marguerite Carré also appears in Morisot's painting "Young Woman in a Ballgown" (1873; Private collection, Paris; CMR 32) and a pastel portrait (unknown location).

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History