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Frederic Bazille wasn’t expecting to die when he did.

Before going off to war he had claimed, “As for myself, I’m sure not to get killed, I have too many things to do in this life”. He was only 28 years old. Shouldn’t have counted your chickens before they hatched, Bazille. He died in 1870 at the Battle of Beaune-la-Rolande. As for stories violently cut short, this one is quite colorful.

Bazille was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. The hand holding the spoon convinced him that it was a good idea to become a doctor. Bazille wasn’t impressed, but he had no say. He left Montpellier for Paris in 1862 to finish his studies. Two years later, Bazille took his revenge and failed the exam. Now he could paint full time, and he could tell his parents he tried the whole doctor thing. He really didn’t, he had signed up for painting lessons as soon as he got to Paris. Here, in Gleyre’s studio, he met Renoir, Sisley, and Monet: the Impressionists. One thing they all had in common was their admiration for Eduoard Manet.

The Fab Four would meet Manet at Cafe Gerbuois. He was the ultimate rock-star for these budding painters. They hung on his every word, hoping to find their way to modern art. Monet and the rest became Impressionists, but what about Bazille?

Frederic Bazille being labeled an Impressionist is an idea that isn’t stomached by all art historians. Just because he was hanging out with the Impressionists? Or was it because he was painting plein-air? Is that enough? Bazille followed Courbet’s realism, with a splash of outdoor painting. His true obsession was people, real, fake, happy, sad, he didn’t care. He staged his scenes in various social scenarios. Bazille painted his friends at picnics, reunions, afternoon beer parties, weddings, and even improvised hospital beds. (PRO TIP: If you’re looking for hot butts, check out the Fisherman with a Net. You’re welcome.)

He had only 8 years to paint, but he didn’t know that. His loose purse strings made him very popular with his struggling peers, especially Monet. Bazille helped him out with money, brushes, studios - he even bought his paintings. Bazille may not have painted as much as his peers who survived, but he did help them paint a whole lot more than they expected to as Bazille strengthened the Impressionist movement before it even started.


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Here is what Wikipedia says about Frédéric Bazille

Jean Frédéric Bazille (December 6, 1841 – November 28, 1870) was a French Impressionist painter. Many of Bazille's major works are examples of figure painting in which he placed the subject figure within a landscape painted en plein air.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Frédéric Bazille