Bazille - The Family Gathering

Frédéric Bazille, “Portraits of the *** Family”, called “The Family Gathering”, 1867. Oil on canvas. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, purchased with the assistance of Marc Bazille, 1924

‘Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism’ in Washington

‘Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism’. Exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, explores Bazille’s role in Impressionist Movement. April 9 to July 9, 2017.

Source: NGA Washington

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.

The exhibition begins with his student works, self-portraits, still lifes, small portraits, and luminous landscapes painted in the forest of Fontainebleau and the coast of Normandy. Portraits of fellow artists are juxtaposed with interior scenes of Bazille's studio depicting the dynamic circle of avant-garde artists and writers to which he belonged. The fifth and sixth galleries explore Bazille's plein-air figural paintings, created while he was in Montpellier, and the male and female nude as subjects. The exhibition continues with a gallery dedicated to floral still-life paintings and concludes with a return to outdoors with seascapes painted in the south of France.

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