Frédéric Bazille, The Improvised Field Hospital, August 1865. Oil on canvas, 48 x 65 cm (18 7/8 x 25 9/16 in.). Musée d’Orsay, Paris © Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt.
Frédéric Bazille (1841–1870) created paintings inspired by contemporary life that challenged the aesthetic conventions of his day and helped to lay the groundwork of impressionism. In celebration of the 175th anniversary of the artist’s birth, Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism brings together some 75 paintings that examine Bazille as a central figure of impressionism. The National Gallery of Art, which holds the largest group of Bazille’s works outside of France, as well as important related impressionist paintings of the 1860s, is the sole American venue for the exhibition. The first major presentation of Bazille’s work in America in 25 years, the exhibition is on view in the East Building from April 9 through July 9, 2017.
Bazille was actively engaged with the most significant pictorial issues of his era—the revival of the still-life form, realist landscapes, plein-air figural painting, and the modern nude. Drawing inspiration from the vibrant cultural life of Paris as well as from his native Provence, Bazille painted with a style that was distinctly his own.
“This exhibition shows Bazille’s key role in the developments of French painting and provides new insight into this period of impressionism,” said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. “The outstanding partnership between the National Gallery of Art, the Musée Fabre in Montpelier, and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris made it possible to undertake this new study of Bazille’s work. We are delighted to reveal brand-new scientific examinations that offer new analyses, identifications, dates, and attributions.”
Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism is the most comprehensive retrospective of Bazille’s career, featuring nearly three-quarters of his artistic output. Organized thematically, this exhibition juxtaposes works by Bazille with important works by the predecessors who inspired him—Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, and Gustave Courbet—and by contemporaries such as Édouard Manet and Claude Monet with whom he was closely associated. Continue reading “Frédéric Bazille exhibition explores artist’s role in Impressionist movement at National Gallery of Art – Washington, DC – 09.04.2017-09.07.2017 – 12535”