Berthe Morisot (1841 – 1895) was a French artist, the least known member today of the Impressionists’ group that included Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sissley.
Morisot developed a great friendship and collaboration with Édouard Manet, posing for him several times through the years. In 1874 she married Eugène Manet, his brother, and the two of them had a daughter together, Julie Manet.
Morisot painted Julie extensively, each artwork offering a glimpse into her daughter’s transformation through the years. Julie Daydreaming was painted in 1894, just one year before Berthe Morisot died and left her daughter an orphan. As a last sacrifice, Morisot contracted pneumonia while tending to Julie’s pneumonia. The painting shows a wistful, maybe even bored Julie at 16. Whether she’s thinking about boys or her lost idyllic childhood, we’ll never know.