In a Villa at the Seaside

Berthe Morisot (French, 1841-1895)
Oil on canvas 
19-3/4 x 24 in. (50.2 x 61 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

Raised in a privileged Parisian milieu, Morisot was the only woman to contribute to the first exhibition of the avant-garde Impressionist group, which opened in the spring of 1874. She painted this picture the following summer, during a joint vacation on the Normandy coast by the Morisot and Manet families. It was during this trip that Morisot became engaged to Manet’s brother, Eugène. Using radically simplified means (a few wispy strokes describe the seated figure’s veil; the sea and sky are flat as the canvas on which they’re painted), Morisot conjured a comfortably bourgeois scene. Her models were most likely her sister Edma and Edma’s daughter. Their pointed remove from the beach confirms their middle-class respectability—and, indeed, that of the painter herself.


Probably sold by artist at (sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot , 24 March 1875, lot 21, as Chalet au bord de la mer, for Ffr 230 to Henri Rouart);
[Ernest?] Hoschedé [(1837-1890), Paris].
Edgar Degas Estate, Paris, by 1896 (sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 26-27 March 1918, lot 83, as Femme et enfant sur une terrasse au bord de l’eau, to);
[Paul Rosenberg, Paris, buying for];
Mme. Fernand Halphen, Paris, by inheritance to;
Georges Halphen, Paris, sold 1 May 1979 to;
[Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York, stock no. 6037, sold 1/2 share to [Galerie du Cirque, Paris], sold 12 June 1979 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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