Julie Manet: An Impressionist Surrounded by Impressionists

Julie Manet was the daughter of Berthe Morisot and Eugène Manet who create Impressionist portraits that seem to be influenced by Renoir.

Julie Manet

After a wrecking day of my screen-tired eyes, when I finally give my evening time to my flabergasting garden and walk towards the woods, my eyes vividly open up as if it is absorbing the colours of the landscaping beauty. It is so mind-reviving to see that the green trees and the dark branches play a very different role in contrasting the colours with the sky and earthly warm tones. It is not new for me to experience the disappearing of eye strain, tiredness and drained brain energy every time I surround myself with nature. And trust me, the only thing quite comparable with my monitor screen is the exquisite choice of post-impressionist colours. And maybe this is the reason I love every single Impressionist artist. However, I am really disappointed with the fact that very few people know about the artists despite their spectacular command of colour, their invention of a beautiful style and their contribution to craftsmanship. Today, I brought one such artist who is beautiful with colours and trusts me, you will find reasons to love her. So, let us learn about Julie Manet.

Artist Abstract: Who was Julie Manet?

Julie Manet, born in Paris on 14 November 1878, was a famous Impressionist artist. Being a part of a wealthy and cultured milieu, she had a very conventional childhood and was loved and cherished by adoring and artistic parents and relatives. Whatever we know today about the artist is all because of her rough scribbled diary, where she recorded memoirs of her life. There is mention of countless summers spent exploring fascinating places and Parisian winters crammed with attending exhibitions and concerts.

A photograph of Julie Manet
NameJulie Manet
Birth14 November 1878, Paris

Life of the Artist.

The only child of painter Berthe Morisot and Eugene Manet, Julie had an idyllic childhood, spending her summers in Bougival, where in 1881, she lived in the Villa at Four rue de la Princesse with her parents. She used to sit at the big table with adults and eminent grown-ups, which made her train to look into things from an early age. Her mother would take her trips abroad and encourage her to visit museums and cultural places. When she was eight, she visited Italy, Belgium, and the Netherlands with her parents. As Julie had a close relationship with her father, his health was declining fast in 1890, and unfortunately, in 1892, she lost her father.

Eugène Manet, Berthe Morisot and their daughter Julie Manet, 1880

As her father died, her mother was grief-stricken and never recovered fully from the loss. Naturally, Julie became close to her mother after her father’s death and became her constant companion. And she recorded a loving detail about her mother in her diary. However, after some time, Berthe’s health was diminishing and became terribly fragile. Following this, she created Stephane Mallarme as Julie’s guardian if any misfortune fell upon her. And in 1895, Berthe died, which made Julie an orphan and shook her from inside.

As Julie was an orphan, her future appeared pretty uncertain, and she lived with her cousins Paule and Jeannie Gobillard. Julie remained devoted to her art and painting, and her only desire was to become an artist just like her mother and most friends surrounded her. Julie’s art was commercial and charming with the influence of Renoir art in her works.

Julie Manet with Cat by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Now, one must know that, unlike Berthe, Julie was not all consumed by the artistic activity, as she was a spectacular wife, mother and grandmother.

Berthe Morisot Reading, Portrait of Julie Manet

There is one of her diary entries from 30 August, which tells her painting activity during her teenage,

“We spent the morning painting in the forest near the place where we were yesterday. After lunch, we went by carriage to fetch Monsieur, Madame and Mademoiselle Mallarme. Mamar Monsieur and Madame Mallarme took the big carriage, and I went with Mademoiselle Genevieve in her trap. She has hired a quite good-tempered horse for a month as of yesterday.”

Berthe Morisot Eugène Manet et sa fille dans le jardin de Bougival

Throughout her life, from her diary, we know that she was the most cherished one with a great bond with her cousins and paintings. At the end of 1899, she stopped writing diary, probably because she engaged with Ernest.

Further, just after marriage, she and her husband made their way to Saint Valery en Caux in Normandy, a small fishing port and popular seaside resort. After their honeymoon was a great success, they returned to their professions of pursuing art. They lived in the fourth-floor apartment at the rue de Villejust. After a few periods of time, they undertook a restoration and redecoration of Chateau du Mesnil and painted murals. When they were doing this work, Julie had three children- Julien, Clemnt and Denis.

Ernest Rouart, Julie Manet, Paul Valéry and Jeannie Gobillard, rue de Villejust, on their wedding day

Julie Manet and her husband organised many crucial exhibitions, such as Manet at the Tuileries in 1932, Degas exhibition in 1937, and Berthe Morisot’s show of 1941.

If we go on learning about the nature of Julie, she was a kind, quiet and serious woman who talked about art and literature, while spending her end days retrospecting herself on life as a fervent Catholic.

Looking at the Paintings of the Last Manet.

In one of the artworks, Jeune fille au chapeau, Julie portrayed a young lady with a cowboy hat using her warm colours and hatching. A closer look at the picture reveals a blurry face, but through her position and expressions, it appears that the subject is looking at the viewer. Although the starter’s eye is comforted by the warmer colour choices, the colour palette of this canvas does not include bright colours and the chiaroscuro technique.

Jeune fille au chapeau by Julie Manet

Another painting, Portrait of Jeanne Gobillard, seated three-quarter length at a table with a cup and saucer, showcases a similar kind of colour palette with the dominant colour red and blush pink. The lady gazes at the cup of coffee while stirring with a spoon. It seems that Julie painted her subjects with the utmost natural positions and modesty.

Portrait of Jeanne Gobillard by Julie Manet

In the painting Jeanne Baudot in the Salon, Rue de Villejust, Paris, a young girl lies with her hand on the ottoman and another on her lap, giving a model pose with her eyes sideways. The usual colour palette of the artist is the shade white with comparatively darker contrast through the sofa. Julie painted with shades while keeping them somewhat in similar harmony by differentiating the hues.

Jeanne Baudot in the Salon, Rue de Villejust, Paris Julie Manet

Some other artworks by Julie Manet are The Study of a woman sitting in the Garden and Two Studies of Heads and Self Portrait with Larte The Dog.

Final Words.

The life of Julie Manet was awe-inspiring as she faced every personal loss and painted without any restrictions on her canvas. With her ample notes, we know the culture of France through her eyes, her beloved famous mother Berthe and her mesmerising journey to be an artist.


Growing Up with the Impressionists: The Diary of Julie Manet

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