Musée d'Orsay: Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870). The Youth of Impressionism.

Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870). The Youth of Impressionism.

Frédéric BazilleSummer Scene© President and Fellows of Harvard College
How should we consider the work of Frédéric Bazille, who died in combat in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War aged just 28?
Although his early paintings are clearly those of a budding painter, influenced by Realism and by his friend Monet, he nevertheless went on to complete numerous masterpieces in which he gradually asserted his unique talent.

Around sixty paintings have come to us, each one a challenge, another milestone for the young artist, enabling us to follow his progress towards the increasingly personal expression of his "temperament", in the words of the time.
Organised both thematically and chronologically, the exhibition places the works of Bazille amongst those of his contemporaries like Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Fantin-Latour, Guigou, Scholderer and Cézanne. These confrontations place his work at the heart of the great issues of avant-garde painting in the 1860s (modern life, the renewal of traditional genres such as portrait, the nude and still life, plein air painting and peinture claire, etc.), to which Bazille made a considerable contribution, and which also highlight the great originality of his inspiration.

The exhibition thus invites us to take another look at an artist who, in spite of his early death, was a key figure in the birth of Impressionism. The most recent research and scientific studies in particular shed light on Bazille’s methods of working and his links with Monet and Renoir, and reveal evidence of works that were thought to have disappeared - the missing links in an unusual body of work.

General Curator

Michel Hilaire, general heritage curator, Musée Fabre, Montpellier


Paul Perrin, curator of Paintings, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Kimberly Jones, associate curator of French Paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

With the collaboration of

Marie Lozón de Cantelmi, curator of 19th and 20th century collections. Musée Fabre, Montpellier
Stanislas Colodiet, acting curator of 19th and 20th century collections. Musée Fabre, Montpellier

Exhibition also presented in:
Montpellier, Musée Fabre, from 25 June to 16 October 2016
Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art, from 9 April to 9 July 2017


Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism
Musée d'Orsay/ Flammarion
€ 45

With the generous support of Seydoux & Associés Fine Art

15 November 2016 - 5 March 2017
Musée d'Orsay
Galerie Bellechasse

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