Butterfly Fishing by Bertha Morisot

Butterfly Fishing by Bertha Morisot

Completed in the fall of 1874, after the exhibition in which Morizo performed with the Impressionists, Butterfly Fishing became one of the most famous paintings of the artist. It lacks compositional zadannost, but yet there is no that incompetence that so irritated many critics of that time in the mature works of our heroine.

From the point of view of color and atmosphere, a small elegant canvas by Morizo recalls the “Chinese lanterns” of Sargent, this “pedant from composition”. But if Sargent exhausted his small models, forcing them to pose for hours in the park with paper lanterns

in their hands, then Morisot quickly captured the moment.

A few years later, the artist wrote: “My claims are limited only by the desire to fix something transient, oh yes, just something, even a trifle, the pose of Julie, a smile, a flower, some fruit, a tree branch…”. In “Butterfly Fishing” this modest “creative program” found its best expression.

The pose of the woman is both elegant and gambling. Probably starting to catch butterflies in order to amuse her children, she herself was really into this activity. The children of Morizot are portrayed as “wrappers” wrapped in dresses. She outlines only their postures, but their images do not make them less alive.

Judging by the abundantly blooming apple, the artist began this picture in the spring. However, quite often she started several canvases at once, and before the end of “Catching Butterflies” her hands reached her only by the autumn.

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