Berthe Morisot was born on January 14, 1841 in Bourges, France into a successful bourgeois family who encouraged her in her exploration of art. Once Morisot settled on pursuing art, her family did not interfere with her career.
By age 20, she met and befriended the important landscape painter Camille Corot, who introduced her to several artists and teachers. She took up plein air techniques and painted small pieces outdoors.
in 1864 Morisot's was first accepted in the Salon de Paris with two landscape paintings, and she continued to show regularly in the Salon until 1874, the year of the first impressionist exhibition. Morisot, along with Camille Pissarro, exhibited in all of the original impressionist shows.
She was acquainted with Edouard Manet from 1868, and in 1874 she married Edouard's younger brother Eugene Manet. She convinced Manet to attempt plein air painting, and drew him into the circle of painters who became known as the impressionists.
Berthe Morisot was relegated to the category of 'feminine artists' because of her usual subject matter. However, as a doctrinaire impressionist, Morisot painted what she saw in her everyday life. Her subject matter shows the equivalent of that of her impressionist colleagues. Edgar Degas, the dandy bourgeois, painted rehearsals of the ballet, horse races, and nude women. Claude Monet painted his garden, his children, and his neighbor's haystacks. Female impressionists painted their social milieu in a way consistent with the impressionist approach to subject matter.
She demonstrated the possibilities for women artists in avant-garde art movements at the end of the 19th century.
Berthe Morisot died on March 2, 1895 in Paris and was interred in the Cimetière de Passy.