Illumination of Art

My stories show art is more than color and form, more than symbols preserving our inner emotions, more than making statements⎯it illuminates the human need to communicate beyond words.

Women in Art

I bring women painters out of the shadows cast men, shining a light on their masterful work and often rebellious lives. 

Using Fiction to Find Fact

The medium of historical fiction allows me to delve deeply into how creativity either flourishes or flounders. I use historical fact plus my own imaginings to reveal the source of women’s artistic inspiration and genius.



"Luminous gives Berthe Morisot the respect and affection she deserves as an important and enormously influential artist. Unity Barry has written a splendid, dramatic novel based on the true story of a great painter's life. "

—  Alan Rinzler (www.alanrinzler.com)

Luminous: Berthe Morisot and the Birth of Impressionism, by Unity Barry,  is an important novel about an important subject.  It not only tells the story of a gifted artist fighting against the odds because of her gender, but one with impressive talent and a determination to use it. The unexpected twists in Morisot’s life allowed her to “have it all”—a brilliant career, marriage, and family--a remarkable feat in our own time, let alone over a century ago. Unity Barry tells this story with a deep understanding of art; a profound sensitivity to the inner lives of Morisot and the two Manets in her life (the one she first loved and the one she married); and a gift for description that is often, well, luminous.

—  Joanna Biggar, writer, teacher, editor and author of That Paris Year, a novel. (www.joannabiggar.org

Unity Barry's novel Luminous, Berthe Morisot and the Birth of Impressionism is a rare book, to be treasured by lovers of fine literature, history and art. They will discover gems that have been polished and brilliantly set by Unity Barry as she brings to life artist Berthe Morisot, one of the founders of Impressionism, who never got recognition for the same.

I lived and experienced life with Berthe in Parisian society of the nineteenth century. I felt her frustration at being dismissed by a male dominated art world. I was inspired by Berthe's indomitable resolve as she was ridiculed for daring to want to paint, challenging the strict expectations of a woman of her class and social standing. I relived the horrors of the Franco-Prussian war and most of all, I was given intimate access to Berthe's inner world.

Unity Barry's beautifully written debut novel, Luminous, effortlessly educated me about art and history, leaving me the richer for living the life of Berthe Morisot.

— Kunal Mukherjee, author of My Magical Palace (www.kunalmukherjee.com)


Enfin, a sweeping historical novel about the very beautiful and extremely talented French impressionist artist, Berthe Morisot—in her richly presented debut novel, Unity Barry renders the painter who entranced the Manet brothers and earned a place in art history with all the color, intimacy and vision that Morisot brought to her métier. It’s a fascinating and immensely satisfying read.

Linda Watanabe McFerrin, author of Namako, The Hand of Buddha and Dead Love (www.lwmcferrin.com)