Iris in a vase, ca. 1886.
Oil on panel, H. 0.33 m; W. 0.23 m
Provenance: Private collection.
Women Impressionists, Schirn Kunsthalle, Francfort, February 22 – June 1st, 2008, San Francisco June 21 – September 21, 2008, exh. cat. p. 275 (ill.).
A painter of flowers, landscapes, interiors and still life, Marie Bracquemond studied under Ingres. Her debut took place at the Salon in 1859, where her works were regularly exhibited starting in 1864. In 1869, she married painter and engraver Félix Bracquemond. At the Paris World’s Fair of 1878, Marie presented a large panel of ceramic tiles portraying the Muses of the arts, which she had produced for the celebrated manufacturer, Charles Haviland. Following the success of the work, she was invited by Degas to take part in fourth Impressionist Exhibition the following year, where she presented a ceramic plate and the preparatory boards for the earthenware made for Haviland.
Influenced by Ingres, most notably in her portrait of her son in 1878, Marie moved away from her teacher’s style through her use of light colours, as well as her variations in tones of white in her Portrait of a Woman, which she presented at the fifth Impressionist Exhibition. Along with Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassat, she is considered to be one of the three most important Impressionists of her time.
Marie’s works often depict the landscapes of Sèvres or the Bellevue hillsides, but also include portraits in which variations in colour demonstrate a pleasing savoir-faire and a vibrant feeling of modernity. Long confined to the shadow of her husband, she has gained some well-deserved recognition in recent years through a number of important exhibitions devoted to female painters.