Leah Dooley


College of Arts and Science: University Honors


English and Women and Gender Studies

Faculty Mentor

Kenneth Allan, PhD

Faculty Editor

Naomi Hume, PhD

Student Editor

Tzu Hung Huang


A common Impressionist subject was a woman in front of a mirror. Berthe Morisot, one of a few prominent female painters during the Impressionist era, often painted women in private, domestic settings with those women looking into mirrors. This essay looks at Berthe Morisot’s painting of women and mirrors through the lens of feminist theories of looking and gender difference. This is done through close readings of several paintings by Morisot and one of her contemporaries, Edouard Manet. Morisot, as a female painter, portrays a unique kind of self-looking of and by women, in which she paints women who subvert and deny the traditional male gaze through an awareness of their public presence.