Art Sunday

Unlike many of her Impressionist contemporaries, Bracquemond spent a great deal of effort planning her pieces. Even though many of her works have a spontaneous feel, she prepared in a traditional way through sketches and drawings. Although she was overshadowed by her well-known husband, the work of the reclusive Marie Bracquemond is considered to have been closer to the ideals of Impressionism. According to their son Pierre, Félix Bracquemond was often resentful of his wife, brusquely rejecting her critique of his work, and refusing to show her paintings to visitors. In an unpublished manuscript written by Pierre about his parents’ life, he shares that his father “seldom showed her work to their friends. When he did compliment her, it was in private. Therefore, none of their artists friends paid attention to her works or spoke of her efforts, and when she revealed hopes for success, Félix put her ambition down to ‘incurable vanity.'” In 1890, Marie Bracquemond, worn out by the continual household friction and discouraged by lack of interest in her work, abandoned her painting except for a few private works.