Morisot was born in Bourges, France. After moving to Paris with her family, the young girl and her sister received their first instruction in drawing and painting. She took some lessons from Corot. While copying in the Louvre, she met Manet who was also making copies of the pictures there. She became influenced by his technique. Manet used Morisot as a model for some of his pictures. She appears in The Balcony and a number of later works. Berthe married Manet's brother, Eugene.
Morisot worked out an individual style: characteristic of her work are its very light touch and great intimacy of atmosphere (see The Cradle). Her technique, based on large touches of paint applied freely in every direction, give her works a transparent, iridescent quality. She worked both in oil and in watercolor, producing mainly landscapes and scenes of women and children, as in Madame Pontillon Seated on the Grass.
Morisot took part in the innovations of the Impressionists from the beginning and she remained faithful up to the last group exhibition in 1886. She died in Paris in 1895.