drapeau français english flag
logo catalogue Bazille
Frédéric Bazille

The Digital Catalogue Raisonné

by Michel Schulman
© Association du musée du Petit Palais - Studio Monique Bernaz, Genève

The Terrace at Méric

Huile sur toile
97 x 128 cm - 38 1/4 x 50 1/2 in.
Signé et daté en bas à droite : F. Bazille, 67
Genève, Association du musée du Petit Palais, Suisse - Inv. 10748
Dernière mise à jour : 2022-04-03 06:23:30
Référence : MSb-25


Famille de l'artiste, Montpellier - Emile Teulon, époux de Pauline des Hours, cousine de l'artiste, Montpellier - Mme Romans, Montpellier, 1938 - Georges Romans, Montpellier - Sternberg Galleries, Chicago - Musée du Petit Palais, Genève, 1969.


Paris, galerie Wildenstein, 1950, n° 24 - Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1978, n° 26, repr. p. 68 - Paris, musée Marmottan Monet, 2003-2004, cat. 12, repr. p. 51 - Montpellier, Paris, Washington, 2016-2017, cat. 32, repr. p. 235 et p. 105  [Les références sont du catalogue en français].


Poulain, Bazille et ses amis, 1932, n° 16, pp. 69, 84-85, 214 [Sous le titre : Réunion de famille] - Sarraute, Catalogue de l'œuvre de Frédéric Bazille, 1948, n° 18, pp. 37-41 [Thèse de l'Ecole du Louvre non publiée] - Sarraute, Cat. exp. galerie Wildenstein, Paris, 1950, n° 24 - Daulte, Bazille et son temps, 1952, n° 19, p. 174 [Thèse sous la direction de Gaston Poulain] - Marandel, Cat. exp. The Art Institute of Chicago, 1978, n° 26, repr. p. 68 - Tribune des Arts, [Magasine de la Tribune de Genève],  mars 1983, Trésors du Petit Palais (repr.) - Daulte, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, 1992, n° 22, p. 162 [Réédition de 1952 avec photos en couleur] - Michel, Bazille, 1992, pp. 137, 156 - Cat. exp. Montpeellier, New York, 1992-1993, fig. 57, repr. p. 107 - Bajou, Frédéric Bazille, 1993, pp. 97-98 - Schulman, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné, 1995, n° 25, repr. p. 144 - Pitman, Bazille : Purity, Pose and Painting in the 1860s, 1998, pp. 87-89 - Hilaire, Jones, Perrin, Cat. exp.  Montpellier, Paris, Washington, 2016-2017, cat. 32, repr. p. 235 et p. 105 [Les références sont du catalogue en français] - Schulman, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné numérique, 2022, n° 25.

Commissioned in the Summer of 1868, The Terrace of Méric  which has sometimes been given the name First Family Gathering, bears the date 1867, when the work was sent to the Salon. We will therefore retain this official date of 1867 for this painting, which is not preparatory for The Family Gathering.

The house is perfectly recognizable - it remains unchanged today - with its angled shape and arched windows. Downstairs to the right of the open door, the windows lit Méric's greenhouse, in front of which a gardener can be seen with a watering can. A large trellis adorns the entire façade of the house. Enveloping it, a huge chestnut tree casts a refreshing shadow on the entire terrace: in the corner of the house, a large vase that still exists.

Many characters give life to the scene. On the right, four people are seated around an iron table, a table that will reappear in The Family Gathering. Two young girls are sewing attentively while listening to their neighbors' conversation. An older woman is talking with a tall man, who holds a hat in his right hand, and is seen almost in profile. According to Marandel, this could be Bazille himself; he has the height and the face. We also believe this, contrary to Sarraute, for whom Bazille could be the man holding the arm of the woman with the parasol and going with her to the door of the house. Near this door, two indistinct persons are sitting with their backs to the vase. In short, there is every reason to believe that the people are members of the family to whom Bazille was deeply attached. Finally, on the left side of the painting, a little girl sits watching two dogs play. These were not originally in the painting, since Bazille wrote to his parents at the end of January 1867: "I have retouched it. I have added two little dogs, and I have redone the heads of Pauline and Camille, which did not fit well".

Bazille did not focus his efforts on drawing the people. The faces here are simplified. Only the dresses are finely drawn.

According to Marc Bazille, the artist's brother, the painting was damaged by fire in circumstances we do not know. Long in his family, it was acquired by the Petit-Palais in Geneva in 1969. According to the information provided by the curator of this museum, the painting was restored after being burned but then underwent a "second restoration [...] which covered almost the entire canvas and made the painter's work unrecognizable". Its cleaning revealed the little girl and the two dogs on the left side. Despite all these restorations - or no doubt because of them - The Terrace at Méric leaves a mixed feeling. Indeed, such monochromatic tones are not usual for Bazille. It looks as if the pinks on the façade are dripping and the blues are artificial.

In 1866, Bazille brought the painting back to Paris and showed it to his friends, who gave him high compliments. So he decided to send it to the 1867 Salon with the Potted Flowers. But both paintings were refused.

As with The Family Gathering, this painting is a social image that Bazille intends to emphasize. Undoubtedly very different from the original work - at least in its tonalities - it emphasizes the sweetness of this moment of family life.

Related Works

Oeuvre en rapport
Femme sur la terrasse de Méric - Huile sur toile [rentoilé en 1947] - 27 x 35 cm - Collection particulière (MSb-35)
Oeuvre en rapport
La Réunion de famille - Huile sur toile - 152 x 227 cm - Musée d'Orsay (MSb-37)
Oeuvre en rapport
Femmes au jardin - Dessin au crayon - 36,3 x 24 cm - Collection particulière (MSb-84)
Oeuvre en rapport
Etude pour La Réunion de famille - Dessin au crayon sur papier - 20 x 28 cm - Musée d'Orsay (MSb-105)
Oeuvre en rapport
Etude pour La Réunion de famille - Mine de plomb, fusain et crayon noir sur papier - 30 x 30 cm - Musée d'Orsay (MSb-106)
Oeuvre en rapport
Etude pour La Terrasse de Méric - Dessin au crayon - Musée d'Orsay (MSb-214)
Oeuvre en rapport
Etude pour La Réunion de famille - Dessin au crayon - Musée d'Orsay (MSb-222)
Oeuvre en rapport
Etude pour La Réunion de famille - Dessin au crayon - Musée d'Orsay (MSb-261)