Episode #7 of the course “Impressionist artists who changed the art world”
Often overshadowed by the career of her husband, Felix Bracquemond, Marie was an accomplished Impressionist painter highly influential in the circle of Parisian artists who went down in history as central to the painting style. She was discouraged from continuing her career further and stopped painting in 1890, but she remained a fervent supporter of the Impressionist artists until her death in 1917.
Born in 1840, Marie traveled with her family, who moved frequently when she was a child before settling in Etamps, near Paris. She began taking painting instruction and by 1857 had excelled to the point where one of her submissions was accepted in the Paris Salon. She continued to study by copying masterpieces at the Louvre, which is where Felix Bracquemond met and fell in love with her. They married in 1859 and became parents to a son in 1870, after which Marie’s health began to decline.
Under the Lamp
Marie was one of the first Impressionist artists to begin painting outdoors, and the technique served her to produce some of her best work. She began exhibiting regularly at the Paris Salon in 1864 and with the Impressionists exclusively in 1879. Marie and her husband Felix disagreed strongly over the Impressionist movement; he was very unhappy when she began to follow Monet and Degas’ style. Marie, however, worked to achieve rich, intense colors and an interplay of colors and textures that went beyond realism to an impression of the moment.
On the Terrace at Sèvres
The Artist’s Son and Sister in the Garden at Sevres
Some of Marie Bracquemond’s most well-known pieces include On the Terrace at Sevres and The Artist’s Son and Sister in the Garden at Sevres, which is also one of her last paintings. She used bold color and shading in both paintings to contrast with the fine details of the bourgeois models; the brushstrokes alternate length and texture with the lighting. Many of Bracquemond’s outdoor paintings were completed in her garden at Sevres, although she completed numerous portraits both indoors and outdoors—even a few commissioned for European aristocracy.
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