Monday Lectures

19 April 2021

The Diary of Julie Manet

Julie Manet photographed in 1894 at the age of sixteen.

In August 1893, Julie Manet is fourteen. Her father, Edouard Manet’s younger brother, had just died and her mother, the Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot encourages her only daughter to write a diary. She will keep this precious record of her day-to-day life in Belle Epoque Paris until 1899, the year of her engagement to the painter Ernest Rouart. Hers was no ordinary circle of friends and acquaintances : they included Auguste Renoir and the poet Stéphane Mallarmé, her guardians when her mother died suddenly in 1895, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Carolus Duran, Arséne Alexandre, Jacques-Emile Blanche, Teodore de Wyzewa, Paul-César Helleu or Abel Truchet to name but a few. She not only provides a personal and valuable insight into this brilliant generation of artists but also records contemporary events such as the Russian Tsar’s State visit to Paris and the Dreyfus Affair that shook France so profoundly that it destroyed many friendships forever.

Berthe Morisot, Eugène Manet with Julie in the Garden at Bougival, 1881

Paris, Musée Marmottan