The fashionable woman seated in the foreground is the artist's sister, Edma. However, the painting is not a portrait. Morisot's principal concern was to render a figure in a natural, outdoor environment. Edma's white dress-the prime vehicle for Morisot's study of reflected light-is saturated with delicate lavender, blue, yellow, and rose tonalitites. Deftly executed with quick brushstrokes, the painting resounds with a feeling of freshness, vibrancy and delicate charm. "Every day I pray that the Good Lord will make me like a child," Morisot wrote, "That is to say, that He will make me see nature and render it the way a child would, without preconceptions." Morisot, the great granddaughter of the 18th-century French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, selected this painting as one of her four works shown in the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874.
Fonte: Reading, 1873. Berthe Morisot (French, 1841-1895). Oil on fabric; framed: 74.3 x 100.3 x 12.1 cm (29 1/4 x 39 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.); unframed: 46 x 71.8 cm (18 1/8 x 28 1/4 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of the Hanna Fund 1950.89