Edouard Manet was a giant in 19th century French painting and printmaking. He came from a well-off family and was determined to become an artist, a goal he achieved when his father finally agreed. He walked the streets of Paris looking to capture, as he put it, "a detail, a profile, a hat, in a word a fugitive impression.” He became a mentor to the Impressionists, including his sister-in-law Berthe Morisot.
In 1872 Manet painted a portrait of Morisot (seen below) and executed an etching of the portrait as well. Our print is a circa 1910 restrike of the original etching. A small number of impressions were originally issued, after which the copper plate was canceled with two punched holes, one at the top, one at the bottom. In later editions, such as this one, the plate was beveled to minimize the holes.
Morisot herself became a major figure in the Impressionist movement. She was represented in the Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism exhibition at the Speed Art Museum in 2018.