The Mother and Sister of the Artist by Berthe Morisot

Listen to the Story: 11 minutes


When Berthe Morisot and her sister Edma wanted to learn how to paint, their parents willingly obliged. After all, that was part of an upper-class young woman’s education. But when their teacher saw their incredible talent, he warned their mother, “…they will become painters. Are you fully aware of what that means? It will be revolutionary…” And he was right! For a woman to become a professional painter was almost unheard of in 1850s Paris. But Berthe did it, even after her well-meaning mentor Édouard Manet made some…uh…improvements to this painting just before the deadline for submission to the all-important Salon. Prepare to cringe!