Impressed with Berthe Morisot’s “The Butterfly Catchers”

Our Famous Impressionist Artists we started this month is ~

Berthe Morisot

My girls were delighted to study a female artist who became a committed and successful artist.

Bertha married Eugene (Edouard Manet’s brother, another famous Impressionist artist) and they had a daughter.  She regularly exhibited her art in the Impressionist exhibitions.  Her works often portrayed women and children and simple domestic scenes.  Her most famous painting is “The Cradle”.

We were happy to read that she managed to combine a happy family life with her dedicated career.

Charlotte Mason suggested we study 1 artist and their works for a month, and so we will study Berthe Morisot’s  life and art works this month, and focus on one new painting each week.

This week we chose ~

The Butterfly Catchers

I first asked my kids study this picture in our book Impressionist Painters quietly for a few minutes. 

I asked them to look for details;

  • what each person was doing,
  • the most prominent colours and shapes,
  • objects’ positions on the page, etc.

They were to make a mental picture to “hang in their mental art galleries”.  (I did not prompt them before with any technical artistic info.)

I closed the book after about 2 minutes.  They wrote as many details as they could remember on the back of their outline page I had prepared.  I was pleasantly surprised at the differences and interpretations they each shared in their narrations. We actually see things differently!

I especially asked them to conclude their narration and write what the picture made them feel.  I wanted their own, personal impressions.  Lovely sentences came out!

I was happy with just this.

But I had traced the outline of the painting and suggested they could paint their own picture of “The Butterfly Catchers” if they wanted to.  They were very keen!  So we took out our paint trays and brushes and we all painted.

We were all surprised at how hard it was to paint in Berthe’s quick, loose style!  Most the colours in the painting were grey and green.

We all started with green colour washes; light green on the grass, dark green in the tree area and light blue for the sky.

It was much harder to keep the details clear.  We all “lost” it at different times, and we had to focus and concentrate on colours and brush strokes to keep it free, but not sloppy.

Here are our paintings:

Miss. L9's painting

Miss. K11's painting

Nadene's painting

All quite similar, but each identified with different aspects of her original painting.

It was a most enjoyable art appreciation lesson.

Enjoy something similar with your artist of the month!


6 thoughts on “Impressed with Berthe Morisot’s “The Butterfly Catchers”

  1. Pingback: Intimate Impressionism - Berthe Morisot | Harmony Fine ArtsHarmony Fine Arts

  2. Pingback: A Collage of “The Cradle” « Practical Pages

  3. Pingback: More Marvelous Berthe Morisot Art Appreciation « Practical Pages

  4. Can I travel to South Africa and join you for art class? I love reading your art posts. Now I just have to have the courage to print out these tracings and try it myself with our girls!


    • @Julie – yes! would that be real fun! Enjoy your art appreciation lessons with your kids! You can start really simply with water colour pencils. They colour in neatly and yet, when painted with water, give a lovely painterly feel!


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