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Frédéric Bazille

The Digital Catalogue Raisonné

by Michel Schulman
Access to the work MSb-

Bazille's Complete Work

This digital catalogue raisonné of the complete works of Frédéric Bazille, published April 3 2022,  takes into account the latest research on the artist and is regularly updated.

The result of forty years of study and expertise, it also includes our important discoveries, justified either by their provenance or by historical, scientific or technical cross-checks on which our analyses and opinion are based. Such as the Portrait of Verlaine, Woman Ironing, Still Life with Grapes and Nuts, Portrait of Renoir, Monotonous Chant, End of a Summer Day, Family Portrait and Young Woman with Peonies...

Through Bazille's abundant correspondence, we discover an endearing personality, his solid Montpellier roots, his fidelity to his family and his culture, which is reflected in his Protestant education. It is the purpose of our abundantly illustrated biography of the man and the artist to follow his evolution which will lead him to prefer art to medicine and to take his own path in the history of art. This new publication also provides the latest information on the exhibitions and bibliography of his work.

All texts are published in English and French. The names of Bazille's works are all translated into English. We have kept the French name for the other works.

A Posthumous Glory

When he died at the age of twenty-nine in 1870, Frédéric Bazille had hardly had time to make himself known beyond his circle of friends. It was only in 1900, at the Centennale de l’art français, organized for the World's Fair, that two of his major paintings appeared. Only then did the world catch a glimpse of a great painter it had, so to speak, barely heard of. After this revelation, capital but limited, he only gradually acquired the renown he deserved during exhibitions in 1910, 1923, 1935, in 1941 for the centenary of his birth and in 1950 at the Wildenstein Gallery; finally, Bazille appeared several times in impressionist exhibitions, first in 1992 in Montpellier and New York, in Paris in 1994 and lastly in Montpellier, Paris and Washington in 2016-2017.

But has Bazille really found his true place? On closer inspection, nothing is less certain. His merit, certainly, is now recognized. But art historians, because they only discovered him late, at the beginning of this century, have deliberately placed him in a perspective that is largely posterior to his own; they have often associated him with aesthetic trends that were perhaps not his own or were only partially his own, and have included him in a movement in which he had not fully participated. In 1874, a handful of young painters who had never felt that they belonged to or desired to establish a school, and had never bothered to adopt a shared doctrine, were derisively called Impressionists; and this term, as it fittingly enough reflected what they were all striving to express, their supporters, like themselves, accepted it.

There is no reason to believe that Bazille, had he lived at the time, would have accepted it as well. If we look at the Impressionists as a group of artists who rebelled against the all-powerful official academicism and intended to renew painting, then Bazille was certainly part of it. He was even at its center, since he contributed with his energy and generosity to keeping it alive; he worked in close affection and camaraderie with Monet, Renoir and Sisley, even offering lodging to the first two on occasion. But, as an avant-garde painter with them, Bazille, through another facet of his nature, is in love with tradition; he is aware of his debt to the masters who preceded him in his own century. Moreover, as a comrade-in-arms of the devotees of the Northern light, he is a painter from the South who sees other things under a different sky. Therefore, without underestimating the strength of his ties to them, we can also situate him in a pictorial continuity that is alien to them.

His place is therefore much more complex than his friendship and work relationships alone might lead us to believe. Bazille seems to us to be situated, in a variable equilibrium, between several movements of his time. So, rather than imposing conclusions which, in any case, can only be very nuanced, we thought it preferable to offer you all the data on which a judgment can be made.

It is not surprising to see a growing body of paintings and drawings by Bazille that our research, analysis and investigations have led us to attribute to the artist. These works that we have carefully studied allows our view of the painter's work to evolve. As our research continues, this evolution will continue over time. Thus, the history of art is renewed and cannot be static or limited to the past.

Michel Schulman


Almost thirty years have passed since the first publication of the catalogue raisonné of Frédéric Bazille. Today, we will not forget those who helped and encouraged me at that time we would like to thank once again: Marc and Sylvie Pallier, Jean-Patrice Marandel, curator of paintings at the Los Angeles County Museum, Michèle Pallier, Claude d'Assigny, Catherine Hérisson, Valentine Lejosne, the descendants of Alphonse Tissié, Xavier Dejean, curator of the Fabre Museum, the Sinner family, descendants of Victor Frat, Louis Secondy, author of a history of the Lycée de Montpellier, François-Bernard Michel, author of a publication of Bazille's letters in 1992, Gérard Bouté who guided me and gave me precious advice to publish this catalogue, Marie Valletta, who efficiently assisted me in this gigantic work, without forgetting Germain d'Hangest, whose unrivalled mastery of the French language has chiseled the texts published in this catalogue.

Today, my thanks go once again to Gérard Bouté but also to Jean Pénicaut, Bruce Mee, Dominique Lobstein, Jane Roberts, Catherine Chauvel, Karen Luong, for the layout and Jean-François Desclaux, Internet consultant, who carried this project out.

I would also like to thank Michel Hilaire, director of the Fabre Museum, Steve Gavard, iconographer and all the staff of the Fabre Museum, so that the Orsay Museum, who granted me the free use of photos of the works in their collections. I cannot forget the library and the documentation department of the Orsay Museum as well as all the other museums and private collectors who helped me to carry out this project.

I would also like to thank all the persons who wished to remain anonymous.