Frederic Bazille was from an upper middle class family and was pursuing medical studies. His “hobby” was painting, and he went, in 1862, to Paris to the studio of a painter, Charles Gleyre, where he met Claude Monet, Pierre Renoir and Alfred Sisley. With them (and others like Edouard Manet), he created paintings that were inspired by daily life, but challenged the artistic method “norms” of the day. The work they did was the start of the Impressionist movement.
I was fortunate to have found, and attend, an exhibit at the Musee D’Orsay in February on his work, and now it is in Washington, DC at the National Gallery of Art. https://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/exhibitions/2017/frederic-bazille-and-the-birth-of-impressionism.html.
One fun aspect of this exhibit is that it has several still life paintings that are hung side by side by different artists. This proximity offers us a chance to compare the artists’ differing techniques and each’s vision of the objects themselves.
If you are wondering why you have not seen his paintings in previous Impressionist exhibits, I think it’s because there are not very many paintings by him. Unfortunately, just prior to his 29th birthday, Bazille was killed in the Franco-Prussian War. Who knows what additional treasures he would have produced?
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