Reading with Green Umbrella (1873)
painting 91 of 176 by Berthe Morisot

Reading with Green Umbrella, 1873 by Berthe Morisot

Information about painting

The fashionable woman seated in the foreground is the artist’s sister, Edma. However, the painting is not a portrait. Morisot’s principal concern was to render a figure in a natural, outdoor environment. Edma’s white dress-the prime vehicle for Morisot’s study of reflected light-is saturated with delicate lavender, blue, yellow, and rose tonalities. Deftly executed with quick brushstrokes, the painting resounds with a feeling of freshness, vibrancy and delicate charm. “Every day I pray that the Good Lord will make me like a child,” Morisot wrote, “That is to say, that He will make me see nature and render it the way a child would, without preconceptions.”

Morisot, the great granddaughter of the 18th-century French painter Jean-Honorè Fragonard, selected this painting as one of her four works shown in the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874.