Young Woman Seated on a Sofa, ca. 1879. Berthe Morisot. Oil on canvas. Partial and Promised Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Dillon, 1992.
At about the time that Morisot depicted this model in her Paris apartment, an admiring critic wrote: "she grinds flower petals onto her palette, in order to spread them later on her canvas with airy, witty touches . . . producing something vital, fine, and charming." The painter was then at her apogee, having developed a signature style that updated the bravura brushwork of her brother-in-law Edouard Manet with more spirited handling and opalescent tints. She enjoyed a highly successful career, participating in the official Salons and in seven of the eight Impressionist exhibitions.