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It was at his mid-twenties when Bazille painted this direct self-portrait. It is a hand painted oil painting of him in a black coat and a white shirt. He looks at the viewer as if caught off guard; a look he created with only his canvas, paint, and a brush. The portrait is set in a dark background with the light hitting the face dimly.
The French painter focused his work on portraits as well as still life and landscapes. He was among the creators of impressionism, but his early death prevented him from witnessing the revolution he had started. Through his work, he uses light strokes to show the lighting.
In the painting, he uses broad brush strokes to place the figure in front of the photographer's lens. Bazille style was different from others since he focused more on form and volume. These two were crucial parts and were included in most of his painting. In The Portrait, his 'caught off guard' face appears real; but, it contains conservationism, some hesitancy, which is evident in most of his paintings. The painting is, however, fresh and keen on detail and greatly appreciates anatomy as well as authentic facial expressions.
Throughout his eight years of painting, Bazille was able to make several portraits of himself and his friends. He used unmixed colors with small brush strokes that represented light. To him, the sun and the figure being painted were inseparable. The scenery of the character had to be captured as well as the view at that very moment. The view was to inspire a personal interpretation that contained a deeper spiritual meaning. In the case of the self-portrait, the light hitting the face reveals the facial structures and the off guard look in the eyes.
Some of Artists Related to Frederick Bazille's Work
Charles Gleyre - Gleyre took over Paul Delaroche's studio where he taught young artists such as Bazille. He was the teacher of several impressionists who he taught for free although they had to contribute for the rent and payment of models.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir - This famous painter was among Bazille's closest friends. They met at Gleyre's studio when Bazille moved to Paris for further studies. Auguste's work was mostly influenced by the feminine sensuality and was mostly impressionist in style. The vibrant lighting and saturated color is what primarily introduces The artist's work. One of his primary subjects was the female nude. He made these figures softly fuse with the surrounding through freely brushing touches if color. One of his best works included Bal dumoulin de la Galette.
Eugene Delacroix - Delacroix was regarded as the leader of the French Romantic School. His paintings were the reason why Bazille opted to start painting. Through his brush and study of optical effects of color, he founded the Impressionist style of painting. He also was passionate about exotic, inspiring the Symbolist movement. Together with other artists like Walter Scott, he illustrated various Shakespeare works. Among his inspirations was Lord Byron whom he shared the forces of the sublime identification of nature.