Young Woman with Peonies Frederic Bazille Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Frederic Bazille together with Monet Claude, Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, and Alfred Sisley gave birth to the impressionist movement. The artists worked together in a studio helping each other acquire working tools such as canvases. The friends studied painting together and grew fond of each other.

With time, the friends shifted from working in studios to working from outdoors and from where they used nature as an inspiration. These artists made portraits using similar approaches hence the similarity in their works. One of Bazille’s last works was the Young Woman with Peonies. The paint was completed in 1870 and was sadly his last before he died in the Franco-Prussian war at the age of 28.

Bazille used oil, canvas, and pencil instead of brushes for Young Woman with Peonies just like most of his other paintings. The paint depicts a Black Woman holding a bunch of peonies in a basket in one hand. Her other hand is seen extending some peonies probably to a buyer. Bazille painted two portraits using the same young woman with peonies. The other one showed the model arranging peonies and placing them in a vase. It is believed that the painting was as an inspiration from Manet who was a gardener and loved flowers. Besides, Manet had done a portrait that featured the same model used by Bazille in the notorious yet most celebrated art of the woman extending flowers to a naked prostitute.

In the Young Woman with Peonies and the one done by Manet, it is evident that the women are proud of their flowers. Besides, the Black women seem fully in control of their flowers. The paintings are believed to have given rise to the Black Woman appearing on art and appearing in modest display.

Research has revealed that Bazille often reused his canvases as a way of saving on the cost of production. For instance, scans and curators have discovered that Young Woman with Peonies was painted on a used canvas and the previous images acted as shadows to this particular paint. Probably, the blurred shadows gave him inspiration for the drawing. The original painting is found at Musee Fabre where it has been since the year 1918. The artwork has been an inspiration for modern art where pencils are used instead of brushes. Oil and canvas have also gained popularity in modern art.