Young Woman Knitting

Berthe Morisot French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 824

With refreshing disregard for prior stylistic conventions, Morisot glosses over facial features and dispenses with other descriptive details to present a snapshot glimpse of a modern-day subject.  Her paring down to the essentials may be seen as a bold fashion statement of sorts: her sitter sports the latest style of dress and is shown knitting in a garden typical of the period, with a gravel path and flowering roses. The elegant chairs suffice to define the setting as a backyard, which had become a popular fixture of the middle-class household. Morisot probably painted the work in Bougival, where she spent the summers of 1881 to 1884, perhaps enlisting her daughter’s nanny as a model.

Young Woman Knitting, Berthe Morisot (French, Bourges 1841–1895 Paris), Oil on canvas

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