Marie Bracquemond

Marie Bracquemond photo

Introduction to Marie Bracquemond

Marie Bracquemond, born Marie Anne Caroline Quivoron in 1840, was a French artist counted among the few women of the Impressionism movement. Impressionism, a 19th-century art movement, was characterized by small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light, ordinary subject matter, and unusual visual angles.

Early Life and Artistic Beginnings

As a child living in Étables, France, Marie showed a remarkable talent and interest in drawing. Her skills earned her apprenticeships under prominent artists of her time such as Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, with whom she studied at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. (Her study program was informal as women were not allowed).

Of her, the critic Philippe Burty said, "one of the most intelligent pupils in Ingres' studio."

Bracquemond eventually began getting her own commissions for painting.


Embracing Impressionism

In the 1870s, Marie Bracquemond turned her focus towards Impressionism, swayed by the influence of her close friends Monet and Degas. Her artistic style transformed radically, her works becoming more vivid and vibrant with life. She moved away from her neoclassical training and embraced the brushwork deftness to depict light and color.

Major Works and Exhibitions

She participated in the "Impressionists’ Exhibition" of 1879, showcasing her talent to the world. The works she presented such as "On the terrace at Sèvres" and "The Artist's Son and Sister" are some of the artist's best-known pieces, embodying the Impressionist dedication to capturing the mood of the moment.

Artist's Son and Sister

bracquemond son daughter

Ceramic Vase

bracquemond vase



Challenges and Triumphs

Like many female artists of her time, Bracquemond faced adversities due to gender roles and societal norms; her husband, Felix, disapproved of her Impressionist associations and her dedication to her work. Despite the hurdles, Bracquemond's productivity and artistic commitment remained steadfast.

Legacy and Influence

Marie Bracquemond's work had a significant influence, specifically on women artists who aspired to break the molds set by their male counterparts. Her art was bold and vibrant, with a feminine touch rarely seen in her era.

Connecting to Impressionism

Impressionism, as a revolutionary movement, marked a turning point in art history. Bracquemond's adoption and execution of this trend played a pivotal role in shaping the movement's aesthetic and ideological reputation.


Including oil painting, water color, etching, and ceramics, the story of Marie Bracquemond is one of resilience, determination, and artistic versatility and innovation. She, along with her contemporaries, forever shaped the trajectory of art history and remain an inspiration for artists all around the globe.


Lesson ideas for Teachers

Art Lesson Plan: Exploring Impressionism

Bracquemond's life and work offer a fruitful basis for an art lesson plan exploring Impressionism. Students can discuss the principles of Impressionism, see them in action in Bracquemond's works, and reproduce them in their own artwork.

Learning Objectives
The art lesson plan aims to teach students about the history and significance of Impressionism, the impact of female artists like Marie Bracquemond on this movement, and practical drawing and painting techniques used in Impressionist artwork.

Identifying Key Elements in Bracquemond's Art
Students will analyze several of Marie Bracquemond's works, identifying the unique elements of Impressionism in her art. This could include the use of light, color, and brushwork techniques.

Reproducing Impressionist Techniques
Taking inspiration from Bracquemond's art, students will attempt to recreate some characteristic Impressionist techniques. This hands-on activity facilitates a better understanding of the movement's approach and principles.

Group Discussion and Analysis
Teachers can lead discussions analyzing Bracquemond's artworks, focusing on the artist's unique interpretation of the Impressionist style and the struggles she faced as a woman artist of the time.

More ...

Teaching Opportunities
The narratives surrounding Marie Bracquemond present a wealth of opportunities for teaching about not just art and Impressionism, but also gender and social issues of the time.

Artistic Exploration Beyond the Classroom
Teachers can encourage students to explore Bracquemond's work outside of classroom settings, promoting a love for art that extends beyond textbooks and syllabi.

Artistic Freedom
Marie Bracquemond serves as a symbol of the artistic freedom that comes from breaking away from traditional norms and stylistic conventions, a lesson that students can draw inspiration from.

The Enduring Spirit of Marie Bracquemond
The life and art of Marie Bracquemond serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of artists who, against all odds, remain dedicated to their craft and contribute significantly to the world of art. Her story is an empathetic lesson of passion, resilience, and change that transcends time and continues to inspire generations.

Women and Impressionism
Students can also explore the role of women in the Impressionist movement and the barriers they encountered, enriched by the life experiences of Marie Bracquemond.

Reflection and Recount
Students are encouraged to write or share their experiences during the lesson, the techniques they found most challenging, and their overall understanding of Impressionism.

Final Remarks: Connecting Marie Bracquemond and Impressionism
Marie Bracquemond's life and works offer valuable insight into the Impressionism scene of the 19th century. Her resilience in face of adversity and dedication to her art serve as an exceptional model for aspiring artists.

Artistic Evaluation
The teacher will evaluate the works produced by the students, basing assessment on their understanding and application of the examined Impressionist techniques and elements.

Expansion Activities
For further study, students can research other female Impressionists like Mary Cassatt or Berthe Morisot, comparing their styles and influences with Bracquemond.

Significance in Art History
Marie Bracquemond's contribution to Impressionism is notable, as she adjusted her previous painting style to embrace the new movement fiercely and set her own unique footprint within it.

Marie Bracquemond: A Pioneer
Bracquemond's audacious decision to abandon traditional painting methods and embrace this new style deemed her a pioneer in her field, her influence still resonating in art circles today.

Impressionism's Enduring Influence
The Impressionist movement, with artists like Bracquemond at the helm, challenged the long-established norms of art and paved the way for other revolutionary movements like Post-Impressionism and Fauvism.

Bracquemond's Impact on Modern Artists
Many modern artists, particularly female artists, are influenced by Bracquemond's dedication to her craft, learning from her determination, and incorporating elements from her technique into their own.

Bracquemond and Art Education
Educators can make use of Bracquemond's works and life to educate students about the Impressionist movement, analyzing her artwork and extracting meaningful lessons and insights for students.