Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Frédéric Bazille - French Impressionist Painter and Soldier

From Medical student to Paris Artist to Zouave Soldier. . .a man who helps his fellow man, in a field as competitive as art, is indeed a man with a generous heart.

Frédéric Bazille

Frédéric Bazille, French Impressionist, PD

Frédéric Bazille was born in Montpellier, France, into a wealthy Protestant family.
His family agreed to let him study painting, but only if he also studied medicine. He consented and tried, but the interest wasn't there. After failing the medical exam in 1864, he began painting full-time.

Bazille took classes in Charles Gleyre's studio, a popular atelier. There he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Édouard Manet and was drawn into the Impressionist painting circle. Bazille was generous with his wealth, and helped support his less fortunate associates by giving them space in his studio and materials to use.

Portrait of Renoir, 1867, by F. Bazille*(PD)

Refer to the link below, for Bazille's Studio, to see a painting documenting the artist's friends.

Bazille's Studio; 9 Rue de la Condamine, 1870
In this painting Bazille painted the other artists who shared his studio space. Manet painted Bazille in the group, so both painter's names show.


Bazille, 28 years old, joined a Zouave regiment in 1870, after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. He was hit twice in the failed attack and died on the battlefield. His father came to the battlefield to collect the body for burial. He died as he lived, with honor. Some of his legacy can be seen at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, France.

Zouave was the title given to certain light infantry regiments in the French Army, serving in French North Africa between 1831 and 1962. They had a unique uniform which was by no means subtle. These exotic looking soldiers seemed the 'stuff of legends'.


Have you heard of Frédéric Bazille, the painter? Or the Zouave regiments? 
Are you ready for a New Year?



Photo image of Bazille's Self-portrait:

This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Such reproductions are in the public domain in the United States. In other jurisdictions, re-use of this content may be restricted; see Reuse of PD-Art photographs for details.

The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason:
This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less

Image of artwork: Portrait of Renoir by F. Bazille

This file is in the public domain because its copyright has expired in the United States and those countries with a copyright term of no more than the life of the author plus 100 years.