Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Berthe Morisot's last letter to her daughter Julie

The beautiful and exquisitely talented Berthe Morisot had already been widowed for some time and was raising her only daughter Julie with the help of friends. Julie was only seventeen when her mother, fatally ill with pneumonia, left her this last heart-rending letter:

"My little Julie, I love you as I die. I will still love you even when I am dead...I had hoped to live until you were married. Work and be good as you have always been; you have not caused me one sorrow in your little life. Do not cry; I love you more than I can tell you...."

115 years after it was written, the love of the great artist for her only child moves me very deeply.


  1. This letter makes my heart cry. I've not seen it before now. When one reads in the news about parents abusing and even killing their children one can not but wish that whatever genes Bertha had were more available to other Mothers in difficult situations.

    Thank you so much for showing your loyal readers such a touching tribute to a much loved daughter. Ann

  2. What a tragic and endearing letter!
    After 115 years, our souls still weep as we read it.

  3. Berthe was born in 1841. I was born in 1921. 80 years difference seems like a long time to some. I am 96 and with a slight shift in time could have known her. I wish I had.