Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Lucie Léon at the Piano

Lucie Léon at the Piano


Berthe Morisot

French, 1841-1895

Music lessons, sewing, drawing and other creative pursuits were considered suitable activities for young bourgeois girls before marriage. This unsmiling young lady “would have preferred to play croquet rather than to pose at the piano,” according to the artist’s daughter Julie, who observed the painting sessions. Yet by 1898 Lucie Léon had become a prize-winning pianist with a public career, which was rare for women at the time.

Berthe Morisot herself was also exceptional, one of the few women artists to regularly exhibit with the Impressionists. The influence of her brother-in-law Édouard Manet is evident in the loose, fluid brushwork of this study.
Oil on canvas
Overall: 38 x 33 in. (96.5 x 83.8 cm)
Image: 24 3/4 x 20 1/2 in. (62.87 x 52.07 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Prentice Bloedel
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistoryLondon, UK, Knoedler Gallery, "Berthe Morisot", 1935

Paris, France, Musee de l'Orangerie, Musee du Louvre, 1936

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, French Painting from SAM's Permanent Collection, Apr. 23, 2005 - Jan. 2, 2006

Quebec City, Canada, Musée national des beaux-arts du Quebec, Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist, June 14 - Sept. 16, 2018 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Barnes Foundation, Oct. 20, 2018 - Jan. 14, 2019; Dallas, Texas, Dallas Museum of Art, Feb. 24 - May 26, 2019 (exhibition continued to Musee d'Orsay, however this work was not shown).

Tacoma, Washington, Tacoma Art Museum, Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Their Circle: French Impressionism and the Northwest, Sept. 28, 2019-Jan. 24, 2020.

The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.