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Special Installation


50 Favorites
Berthe Morisot
French, 1841–1895
A Girl Arranging Her Hair
1885–86
Oil on canvas
Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1949
1955.926

  "Here is a woman captured in the midst of a very intimate act, yet her gaze tells us she is very aware that she is being looked at, which somehow gives her more power than if she avoided our eyes. She's getting ready to leave the privacy of her bedroom and go out in public, so she's fixing her hair and putting on perfume. For most women in the nineteenth century, inventing their appearance was one of the few creative outlets they had. But the twist in this case is that a woman painted this picture. Just like her model, Morisot makes us aware of her presence as an artist through the noticeable brushstrokes. Femininity, creativity, power, and beauty all wrapped up in a wonderful package."

Danielle Steinmann
Assistant Curator of Education
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Williamstown, Massachusetts



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