The Pink Dress (Albertie–Marguerite Carré, later Madame Ferdinand–Henri Himmes, 1854–1935), ca. 1870
Berthe Morisot (French, 1841–1895)
Oil on canvas; 21 1/2 x 26 1/2 in. (54.6 x 67.3 cm)
Signed (lower right): Berthe Mor[isot]
The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002 (2003.20.8)
The fashionable portraitist Jacques-Émile Blanche, a friend of Berthe Morisot, recollected how and when this painting was made at the Villa Fodor, the family house 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."
This work of about 1870 is one of the few to have survived from the artist's early period.