Morisot was born in 1841 into a family of wealth and culture. Her father was a high-ranking civil servant. Morisot was given painting lessons by Joseph-Benoit Guichard, then was influenced by Daubigny and Guillement. She gave up her early Classical training to pursue her own style of Impressionism.
In July 1868 Fantin-Latour introduced Berthe to Manet, whom she greatly admired. Although Manet was had a strong influence on her work, she soon developed a distinctive style of her own. Her style, in turn, influenced his painting and encouraged him to work en plein air. She was also a subject for a number of his paintings, including The Balcony. Morisot exhibited regularly at the Salon, and at all the Impressionist exhibitions except for 1879.
Morisot married Manet's brother Eugene in December, 1874. Her house at 4 rue de la Princess in Bougival on the Seine then became a social and inspirational centre for the Impressionists. By 1885 she had begun to hold regular soirees for friends that were artists or writers, including Mallarme.
In March of 1895, Berthe Morisot died of pneumonia at the age of 54. In her last letter to her daughter, Julie Manet, she bequeathed paintings to Degas, Monet, and Renoir. In spite of her international reputation as an artist, her death certificate bears the words "No professions".