On this day of women's rights, I wanted to remember those who had the courage to stand up against conventions, who assumed their destiny as artists. Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Marie Bashkirtseff, Eva Gonzales, Blanche Hoschedé, Lilla Cabott Perry, Marie Braquemond, Mary Fairchild and so many others...
With rare exceptions, where are they? Where are their names, forgotten in what memories, and that no street and no place recalls? We prefer them names of flowers, battles, painters provided that they are men.
Where are their paintings, buried in what reserves ?
They are more than 70 to be able to be considered as impressionists or post-impressionists.
For a woman, to paint, to make it her job, at least her major occupation?
Paint and exhibit? Genre scenes? Nudes? Sell his paintings? Continue to paint after getting married? But what an idea! Do you want the moral ruin of the family?
Marie Bashkirtseff writes: “What I want is the freedom to walk alone, to sit on the benches of the Tuileries and especially of Luxembourg, to spend the evening in the old streets. I envy and this is the freedom without which one cannot become a true artist. Do you think we take advantage of what we see when we are accompanied? Ah! dog's name, how mad I am to be a woman! I am going to arrange for myself bourgeois clothes and a wig. I'll make myself so ugly that I'll be free as a man"
Addressing Berthe Morisot, the art critic Théodore de Wysewa writes: "I believe more and more that with Auguste Renoir, you alone since the death of Manet retain the qualities of the painters of yesteryear..."
Marie Bracquemond painted too few works in a sober modernism, with avant-garde flashes before her husband, embarrassed by her creativity, asked her to interrupt her public career.
Women artists are exhibiting in increasing numbers and the impressionists are the group that welcomes the most. In the 1880s, between 15% and 17% of the group were women.
In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...