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Jean-Frédéric Bazille

Jean-Frédéric  Bazille

(1841 - 1870)
Born: Montpellier, France
Style: Impressionism
Famous Works:
  • The Pink Dress (1864)
  • Portrait of Auguste Renoir (1867)
  • The Artist's Studio on the rue de la Condamine (1870)
Despite passing away before the first Impressionist exhibit, Jean-Frédéric Bazille upheld the philosophy of the period of painting scenes from everyday life. Much like the other artists of the mid-nineteenth century who were all working towards what would become the new style of Impressionism, Bazille valued working from everyday life, filling his canvases with images he observed in his studio, or outside. He infused his portraits with numerous bright and distinct colors; these colors became a standard feature in Bazille's work and gave the young artist a reputation as a brilliant colorist. His interest in color was perhaps due to the new science of color theory which was developed in the late nineteenth century. This study dictated a correlation between hues and emotions. To Bazille, this might have been an irresistible way to organize his paintings and to influence the viewers' reaction to them. Undoubtedly Bazille was a master at leading the eye through his paintings by his use of local color. Unfortunately, Bazille was unable to create a large portfolio due to his early death on the Prussian battlefield at the age of 29. Shortly before he died, Bazille was rejected by the establishment academy's Salon show, where he entered a painting of his studio. This painting gives insight into the atmosphere of collaboration of the time, as the scene shows the art and literature giants Pierre Auguste Renoir, Émile Zola, Édouard Manet, and Claude Monet on a visit to Bazille's studio. It was precisely this kind of exchange which eventually lead to the solidifying of the Impressionist era.
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