Berthe Morisot “Une Finesse Fragonardienne”
Lecturer: Lois Oliver
Impressionist Berthe Morisot is known for her light-filled canvases of modern life: afternoons boating on a lake, young women in ballgowns, children playing. Yet, her contemporaries perceived a connection with the eighteenth century. Renoir considered her ‘the last elegant and feminine’ artist that we have had since Fragonard.’ And the art critic Paul Girard, surveying the 1896 retrospective of her work in Paris, declared, ‘it is the eighteenth century modernised’. This lecture traces Morisot’s engagement with eighteenth-century culture, and highlights what set her apart from her predecessors and contemporaries.
Lois Oliver. Lois studied English Literature at Cambridge University, and History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, completing a PhD thesis on The Image of the Artist, Paris 1815-1855. She worked at the Harvard Art Museums before joining the curatorial team at the V&A and then the National Gallery, where she curated several exhibitions and contributed to major re-displays of the collections. Currently Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Royal Academy, Associate Professor in History of Art at the University of Notre Dame in London, and a Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute.