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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Frederic Bazille - Medical Student by Day, Impressionist Painter by Night

Frederic Bazille is one of the characters in Claude & Camille who I was fascinated with. He was one of Claude’s best friends and a member of the Impressionist group, but he was one that I had never heard of prior to reading this book. While I don’t want to give too much away about Bazille, because it will be much more enjoyable when you read the book, I wanted to share some information about him and show some of his art.

One of the things that really interested me about Bazille was that he was training to become a physician. He was going to classes and just dabbling in paint on the side. After moving to Paris and becoming friends with the likes of Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet, he began to take painting more seriously and eventually failed his medical exams, a few times. After that, he took to painting full time. It is also interesting to note that he was not one of the starving artists. He came from a wealthy family and often was able to help out his fellow artists when they needed money for rent or to buy supplies. This definitely set him in a class of his own - he didn't need to worry so much about producing work to sell so he could have food. He could focus on really painting what he wanted.

Some of his works include:

The Artist’s Studio (1870)
This painting is mentioned in Claude & Camille. In this painting are Renoir, Monet, critic Emile Zola, Edouard Manet, Bazille, and Edmond Maitre are in Bazille’s studio. This was a common meeting place for the artists and I think this painting personifies them completely.

The Family Reunion (1867)
This is Bazille’s best know work. This painting was chosen to be exhibited at the Salon in Paris in 1869 – a great honor – something that all of the Impressionists strove for.

You will have to wait to read the book to find out what eventually happens to Bazille!

Also today at HFBRT:
Lucy’s Book Review at Enchanted by Josephine
Author Guest Post at Historically Obsessed

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a copy of the book!

Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. I found Bazille very intriguing in the Book as well, it seemed like they were all very close.
    Thanks for the post!

  2. I had not heard of Bazille. Looking at his work online, I noticed a big difference in the quality/style of the works. Some were quite nice and others seemed almost amateurish in their rendering. This could be a factor of when in career they were painted.
    Never mind, I just checked the dates of the paintings and the stretch throughout his career. It is just a variation in style and some just don't appeal to me. Others I like quite well.
    I am curious to learn more about him in this book. I won't research him beforehand because I don't want to ruin the story.

  3. I was in the dark about him too untill this read. He has peaked my interest and he was the seccond person's histroy I looked up after reading Claude and Camille.


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