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Last updated: 1/25/2017Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Gallery News / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists

Berthe Morisot (French, 1840-1895): Original Drypoints

Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Prints and Drawings: Prints by Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Charles Camoin, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Henri Edmond Cross, Edgar Degas, Sonia Delaunay, Maurice Denis, André Derain, Susanne Duchamp, Raoul Dufy,
Jean-Louis Forain, Paul Gauguin, Marie Laurencin, Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Berthe Morisot, Pablo Picasso,
Pierre Auguste Renoir, Georges Rouault, Ker Xavier Roussel, Paul Signac, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon,
Maurice de Vlaminck, James A. McNeill Whistler, and others.

Drawings by Albert Besnard, Andre Barbier, Henri Edmond Cross, Jean-Louis Forain, Eva Gonzales, Marie Laurencin,
Maximilien Luce, and Georges Rouault.

Hand-colored prints by Mary Cassatt, Marc Chagall, Sonja Delaunay, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso.

Impressionist Portraits

For a review of the show that concludes, "Art exhibits in Madison rarely get this good," click review.
Berthe Morisot was the organizing force behind the Impressionist group: she was the one who arranged all of their group exhibitions. A close friend of Manet and Renoir, she introduced them to the drypoint technique. With the renewal of interest in the women of the Impressionist group, Morisot's critical reputation has risen substantially, and one sign of that has been a number of recent books and museum shows dedicated to her work and to her role as the organizer of the various Impressionist exhibitions during her lifetime. As the first two works below indicate, she also symbolizes the closeness of the Impressionists: She was Manet's sister-in-law and a close friend of Renoir, who not only made the portrait of her below but also several prints devoted to her daughter, Julie Manet, who is depicted in three versions of Le chapeau épinglé and in Sur la plage à Berneval. In her catalogue raisonné of works published by Ambroise Vollard, Ambroise Vollard Editeur: Prints, Books, Bronzes (NY: Museum of Modern Art, 1977), Una E. Johnson summarizes the state of current knowledge about Morisot's prints: Vollard acquired "approximately 12 drypoint" copperplates c. 1900. "Edition not noted but probably small; printed on fine wove paper; no wrapper; a few rare, early artist's proofs exist. Printer not known" (p. 137). She then provides a list of the 12 prints and their dimensions. On the basis of her titles, we list our holdings. According to Johnson, "the Vollard impressions reveal a slight puncturing of the plates a few mm. within the top and bottom center of the plate mark." Some of our impressions show those "puncturings"; the others are impressions that were printed after the Vollard editions but tried to mask the cancellation holes so that they appear to be earlier. They are, it must be noted, still quite good impressions. In addition to the small editions published by Vollard, at least one of the prints was published in one of Duret's books on the French impressionists, Manet and the French Impressionists (1910). The paper for this print is considerably smaller than that for the other two prints with the cancellation holes.

Select bibliography: Kathleen Adler & Tamar Garb, Berthe Morisot (London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1995), M. L. Bataille & G. Wildenstein, Berthe Morisot. Catalogue des peintures, pastels et aquarelles (Paris, 1961), Anne Higonnet, Berthe Morisot (NY: Harper & Row, 1990), Anne Higonnet, Berthe Morisot's Images of Women (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 1992), Philippe Huisman, Morisot: Charmes. Rythmes & couleurs (Lausanne: International Art Book, 1962), Elizabeth Mongan, Berthe Morisot. Drawings, pastels, watercolors, paintings (NY: Shorewood 1960), Art Gallery of Ontario, Berthe Morisot and her circle: Paintings from the Rouart Collection, Paris (Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1952), Jean Dominique Rey, Berthe Morisot (New York: Crown, 1982), Charles F. Stuckey, & William P. Scott, Berthe Morisot (New York/South Hadley: Hudson Mills Press/Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, 1987. Published in conjunction with the exhibition held at the National Gallery of Art, Sept.-Nov. 1987), Paul Valèry, Berthe Morisot (1841-1895). Catalogue d'oeuvres exposès (Paris, Musèe de l'Orangerie, 1941).
Edouard Manet (French, 1832-1883), Berthe Morisot (Guerin 59, Harris 57). Original etching and drypoint, 1872. The print was never published during Manet's lifetime; it was published in 1894 by Dumont and in 1905 in an edition of 100 by Strolin (from which ours comes). After the plate was cancelled, it was also published in the English and German editions of Duret's Manet & the French Impressionists (1910). Berthe Morisot was an important Impressionist artist and the organizer of the Impressionist's exhibitions during her lifetime. A beautiful sharp impression with much more plate tone than my photo shows. Morisot was Manet's good friend and later married his brother. Her daughter Julie Manet was a favorite subject of Renoir (click here for several examples). A beautiful sharp impression of this important etching. Image size: 120x79mm. Price: $5250.
Edouard Manet (French, 1832-1883), Berthe Morisot (Guerin 59, Harris 57). Original etching, 1872. A beautiful sharp impression as published in Duret, Manet and the French Impressionists (London, 1910). A rich impression with the cancellation punches. Morisot was Manet's good friend and later married his brother. Image size: 120x79mm. Price: $2500.
Berthe Morisot (Stella 4). Original drypoint, c. 1892. First published in Duret's "Renoir" (1924), our impression seems to be a trial proof before Duret on laid paper with no watermark but without the printed text "II. – PORTRAIT DE BERTHE MORISOT." A very sharp impression with great detail and very rich plate tone. Signed in the plate. Stella notes some reprints in limited editions, but this seems much too good to be one of them. Image size: 108x91mm. Price: $4000.
Pierre August Renoir (French, 1844-1919), Berthe Morisot (Stella 4). Original drypoint, c. 1892. This drypoint was originally published in the first edition of Theodore Duret's Renoir. Stella notes "some reprints in limited editions"; ours is a fair impression where the dark areas read clearly and are still sharp. Image size: 108x91mm. Price: $1500.
Berthe Morisot, Jeune fille au repose (Johnson 83: 12). Original drypoint, c. 1887. As published in Duret, Manet and the French Impressionists (London, 1910). A very good early impression with the cancellation punches. This portrait of Morisot's daughter, Julie Manet, is one of her most famous drypoints. Image size: 73x120mm. Price: $3000.
Jeune fille au chat (Johnson 83: 1). Original drypoint, 1888. Edition unknown. According to Una Johnson, Vollard acquired Morisot's 12 prints and had an edition, "probably small," printed after drillng holes at the top and bottom of the plate. Aside from this edition, only "a few rare, early artist's proofs exist. Printer not known." Ours is a beautiful early impression with great detail in the dark areas and lots of plate tone (which wears away fairly quickly). Image size: 149x115mm. Price: $2750.
Jeune fille au chat (Johnson 83: 1). Original drypoint, 1888. Edition unknown. According to Una Johnson, Vollard acquired Morisot's 12 prints and had an edition, "probably small," printed after drillng holes at the top and bottom of the plate. Aside from this edition, only "a few rare, early artist's proofs exist. Printer not known." Image size: 149x115mm. Price: SOLD.
Ducks and Water Plants (Johnson 83: 4). Original drypoint, 1888. Edition unknown. According to Una Johnson, Vollard acquired Morisot's 12 prints and had an edition, "probably small," printed after drillng holes at the top and bottom of the plate. Aside from this edition, only "a few rare, early artist's proofs exist. Printer not known." A very early good impression with lots of burr in the leaves of the plants at left and the wing of the duck bottom left, rich plate tone, and with the cancellation punches on heavy wove paper. Image size: 139x100mm. Price: $3750.
Ducks and Water Plants (Johnson 83: 4). Original drypoint, 1888. Edition unknown. According to Una Johnson, Vollard acquired Morisot's 12 prints and had an edition, "probably small," printed after drillng holes at the top and bottom of the plate. Aside from this edition, only "a few rare, early artist's proofs exist. Printer not known." with the cancellation punches on heavy wove paper. The lines where the burr printed in the example above are now sharp with no burr to hold ink and make the areas more velvety. Image size: 139x100mm. Price: $2500.
Ducks and Water Plants (Johnson 83: 4). Original drypoint, 1888. Edition unknown. According to Una Johnson, Vollard acquired Morisot's 12 prints and had an edition, "probably small," printed after drillng holes at the top and bottom of the plate. Aside from this edition, only "a few rare, early artist's proofs exist. Printer not known." A very good impression with the cancellation punches on heavy wove paper. Image size: 139x100mm. Price: SOLD.
Les Oie / The Geese (Johnson 83). Original drypoint, 1888. Edition unknown. According to Una Johnson, Vollard acquired Morisot's 12 prints and had an edition, "probably small," printed. Aside from this edition, only "a few rare, early artist's proofs exist. Printer not known." A very good impression with burr in the tail feathers lower left and the shadow beneath the goose. Although light, there is good plate tone. An impression on wove paper from the Vollard edition with the cancellation punches on heavy wove paper. Image size: 147x116mm. Price: $2500.
Jardin de Mezy / Bord du lac (Johnson 83: 7) Original drypoint, c. 1888-90. Edition unknown. According to Una Johnson, Vollard acquired Morisot's 12 prints and had an edition, "probably small," printed. Aside from this edition, only "a few rare, early artist's proofs exist. Printer not known." A very good impression with some burr remaining in the dark areas on the tree in the center of the print and with the cancellation punches on heavy wove paper. Image size: 158x120mm. Price: $2500.
Duck, Swan, and Head in Profile (Johnson 83: 6). Original drypoint, c. 1888-90. Edition unknown. According to Una Johnson, Vollard acquired Morisot's 12 prints and had an edition, "probably small," printed. Aside from this edition, only "a few rare, early artist's proofs exist. Printer not known." A very good impression with burr in the duck's tailfeathers and the swan lower right. In this drypoint, we see Morisot using her copperplate as a sketch paid, rapidly intimating the edges of the parts of the drawing then lovingly focusing on those things that interest her most Image size: 120x148mm. Price: $2500.
Duck, Swan, and Head in Profile (Johnson 83: 6). Original drypoint, c. 1888-90. Edition unknown. According to Una Johnson, Vollard acquired Morisot's 12 prints and had an edition, "probably small," printed. Aside from this edition, only "a few rare, early artist's proofs exist. Printer not known." A very good impression after the burr has worn off. The lines where the burr printed in the example above are now sharp with no burr to hold ink and make the areas more velvety. In this drypoint, we see Morisot using her copperplate as a sketch paid, rapidly intimating the edges of the parts of the drawing then lovingly focusing on those things that interest her most Image size: 120x148mm. Price: $2000.
Charles F. Stuckey & William P. Scott with Suzanne G. Lindsay, Berthe Morisot, Impressionist (NY: HudsonHills Press & Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in Assoiction with the National Gallery of Art, 1987. New in mint condition: $35.00

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