Saturday, July 1, 2017

Mall Walking - Frederic Bazille at the NGA

I haven't posted a Mall Walking post in a long time, but I thought this one might be of interest to some.

I've been looking forward to seeing the Frederic Bazille exhibit at the National Gallery in DC for a while, and finally made it just before it closes on July 5.

In a strange way I feel more of a connection to Bazille, and Monet, and Renoir, and Manet, and Cezanne in recent years from my repeated viewings of this TV series:

Crazy, I know

Richard Armitage as Monet (seated), in the back,  standing, James Lance as Bazille , and Charlie Condou  as Renoir

The real Claude Monet from the Bazille Exhibit:

Flowers (L to R) by Monet, Bazille, and Renoir

Before this exhibit I had only seen one or two of Bazille's paintings on exhibit. It was quite a wonderful experience to see more of his work. I especially liked his two artists notebooks/sketchbooks,one from his student days and one he was working with just before his death, that shows not only some wonderful drawings but some preparatory drawings and sketches of work he was planning before his life was cut short in such a tragic way.

Also enjoyed seeing his work next to his contemporaries, especially his good friends Monet, Renoir, and Sisley.  

Some of the quotes on the wall that NGA has used for this exhibit from Bazille's letters to his mother and friends, give us a bit of insight into Bazille the person.  One of my favorites is from a letter to his mother telling her he's now supporting not one, but two, needy artists, Monet and Renoir. Bazille came from a well-to-do family and his parents sent him an allowance to help him live in Paris while he pursued his career as an artist.  He first went to Paris from his home in Montpellier to study medicine, but his love of art won. 

Bazille's career only lasted for seven years.  

I'm not an art critic, only a perpetual art history student, so if you want to know more about this exhibit and Bazille's work, below is a lecture from the NGA about him and the other Impressionists:


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