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Frederic Bazille - French Painter

Updated on August 23, 2009

Artist Jean Frederic Bazille was born on December 6, 1841 in Montpellier, France. Like many of the Impressionist artists he was born into a wealthy family. Supposedly, it was after seeing the paintings of Delacroix that Bazille decided to become an artist. However, to please his family he started studying medicine in 1859. While at medical school, he was also taking classes with Gleyre; while there he met artists Renoir and Sisley. When he failed his medical exam in 1864 he turned to painting full time.

Bazille became friends with many of the Impressionist artists such as Monet, Sisley and Manet; letting them use his studio and his art supplies when they were low on money.

Self portrait
Self portrait

While many of his contemporaries fled to England or were classified as draft dodgers, Bazille joined the army in August of 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War. Frederic Bazille was killed during the Battle of Beaune-la-Rolande on November 28, 1870. He died a hero’s death by taking command of his unit after his commanding officer was killed.

During his short painting career, Frederic Bazille showed so much talent and had the potential to be one of the greatest painters of his time. What he did leave behind shows an amazing artist who could only have gotten better. He is not as well known as his colleagues such as Renoir and Monet; had he lived longer who knows what his reputation would be. Regardless, the name of Bazille deserves to be as well-known as those other artists.

Death of a Soldier

A poem written about French painter Eugène Lemercier who was killed in 1915.

  The Death of a Soldier  by Wallace Stevens

 Life contracts and death is expected,
 As in a season of autumn.
 The soldier falls.

 He does not become a three-days personage,
 Imposing his separation,
 Calling for pomp.

 Death is absolute and without memorial,
 As in a season of autumn,
 When the wind stops,

 When the wind stops and, over the heavens,
 The clouds go, nevertheless,
 In their direction.

Studio in the rue de Furstenberg 1865

Portrait of Renoir 1867

View of the Village 1868

Bazille's Studio; 9 rue de la Condamine 1870


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  • LondonGirl profile image

    LondonGirl 8 years ago from London

    I'm really enjoying your artists hubs series - fantastic.