Birth Year : 1841|
Death Year : 1870
Country : France
Jean Frédéric Bazille was born in Montpelier, France, to a wealthy family of advanced art patrons. His family gave financial support to some of the early Impressionist artists who were revolutionizing French painting, and Bazille himself became a member of the Impressionists as a young man, when he entered the studio of Charles Gleyre in Paris. Gleyre was a Swiss painter who had taught Whistler and many other of the Impressionists. Gleyre encouraged open-air painting, which was an important aspect of the Impressionist approach. Bazille entered his studio in 1862, though shortly before it closed permanently.
In Gleyre's studio, Bazille met Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who became his close friends; he was also acquainted with the English-born Impressionist Alfred Sisley. Though Bazille painted outdoors in Fontainebleau and in Normandy with Monet and Renoir, and was strongly influenced by his friendships with the impressionists, Bazille remained notably faithful to the more traditional styles and subjects of painting, favoring portraits and figure painting over landscapes.
His themes are monumental and dramatic, and he applied that monumental approach to both modern and conventional themes. His brushstroke was free and powerful; under the influence of Manet he modeled his figures with great vigor and boldness. In the late 1860's, some of Bazille's paintings were accepted at the Paris Salon. His best-known painting, "Family Reunion", a group portrait in an outdoor setting, was shown at the Salon in 1868. In 1870 the Salon rejected "La Toilette", a more conventional figurative work.
Bazille was killed in action during the Franco-Prussian War.
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