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Artists - abc - Bazille


Jean Frédéric Bazille


Birth name Jean Frédéric Bazille

Born December 6, 1841, Montpellier, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Died November 28, 1870

Nationality French

Movement Impressionism



Bazille went to Paris in 1862 to take up painting, and met Claude Monet at Gleyre’s studio where he was a pupil. In 1863 he and Monet went together to Chailly to paint out of doors. In 1864, Monet took him to Honfleur where they met Boudin and Jongkind, and in 1867 both Bazille and Monet began experimenting together with the idea of substituting figures painted out of doors for the traditional use of models in the studio. The two artists tried to persuade their friends and relations pose for them in the open, and often used family photographs as a basis for their work. Bazille’s great canvas The Bazille family, usually known as Family Reunion but exhibited at the 1867 Salon under the title The X Family, was a painting of this kind, and the same year 1867, Monet painted his group of Ladies in the garden. In the 1868 Salon, Bazille showed Village Scene based on his previous picture The pink dress. Berthe Morisot wrote after visiting the 1869 Salon, an seeing Bazille’s work: “It is full of light and sunshine. Bazille is looking for what we have always wanted to find; how to paint a figure out in the open. This time I think he really has succeeded”. After this, Bazille experimented with painting nudes out of doors, and 1869 produced Summer Scene or Bathing in the river Lez, which he showed at the Salon the following year, ahead of all the other Impressionists. In 1870 he painted two canvases inspired by Courbet, Toilette and Black woman arranging flowers. Bazille was killed in the 1870 war, leaving an unfinished Landscape on the banks of the Lez. (M. Serullaz, Phaidon Encyclopedia of Impessionism, Phaidon, 1978)      












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