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logo catalogue Bazille
Frédéric Bazille

The Digital Catalogue Raisonné

by Michel Schulman
© Tous droits réservés


Huile sur toile
47 x 38 cm - 18 1/2 x 14 15/16 in.
Collection particulière
Dernière mise à jour : 2022-03-25 09:08:49
Référence : MSb-62


Famille de l’artiste, Montpellier - Vente Roger-Marx, Paris, 11-12 mai 1915, n° 1 - Marc Bazille, frère de l’artiste, Montpellier - Frédéric Bazille, neveu de l’artiste - Par descendance aux propriétaires actuels - Vente Paris, Cornette de Saint-Cyr, 17 juin 2021, n° 7.


Montpellier, Exposition inernationale, 1927, Rétrospective Bazille, n° 11 - Paris, Association des étudiants protestants, 1935, n° 13 (repr.) - Montpellier, musée Fabre, 1941, n° 37 - Paris, galerie Wildenstein, 1950, n° 57 - Montpellier, musée Fabre, 1959, n° 39 - Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1978, n° 52, repr. p. 108 - Montpellier, musée Fabre, 1984 [s.n.] (repr. p. 2).


Poulain,  Bazille et ses amis, 1932, n° 42, pp. 172-173, 219-220 - Laprade, Beaux-Arts, 1935, n° 117 - Guérif, A la recherche d'une esthétique protestante, 1943, pp. 33-34 - Sarraute, Catalogue de l'œuvre de Frédéric Bazille, 1948, n° 47, pp. 108-110 [Thèse de l'Ecole du Louvre non publiée] - Wildenstein, Arts, 9 juin 1950, n° 266 - Daulte, Bazille et son temps, 1952, n° 53, pp. 188-189 [Thèse sous la direction de Gaston Poulain] - Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1978, n° 52, repr. p. 109 - Dejean, Catalogue exp. Montpellier, 1984,  p. 2 - Daulte, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, 1992, n° 57, p. 179 (repr.) - Schulman, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné, 1995, n°  62, repr. p. 217 - Hilaire, Jones, Perrin, Catalogue exp. Montpellier, Paris, Washington, 2016-2017, cat. 60, repr. p. 253 [Non exposé] [Les références sont du catalogue en français] - Schulman, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné numérique, 2022, n° 62.

Two floral compositions illuminate Bazille's final year. In their qualities, they are right in line with the Potted Flowers of 1866.

They glow against a dark background in a quickly sketched vase. Sold in 1915, these Flowers were described in the catalogue as "The brilliance of a multicolored spray of varied flowers, gathered in a bouquet in which one sees blue-black clusters at the upper right and a note of a paler blue on the left. While the whole of the right-hand side is in shadow, on all sides the light awakens vivid accents on the roses, the foliage and the white flowers. The bouquet is both simple and sumptuous. Bazille has indeed chosen classical flowers, roses, carnations and poppies that are dominated by the bright notes of the green and pink composition. Here, the pyramidal shape of the bouquet forces the painter to place it in the center of the painting. Bazille enjoys, writes Wildenstein, "reproducing the contrast of a spray of red flowers that escape in a triangle from a green and square vase. Here again, it is the meeting of these two geometric figures rather than the taste for a classical construction that prompts him to choose this simple composition" [Arts, June 9, 1950, p. 8].

Effectively, we don't see any real research here as in the Potted Flowers made for the Lejosne in 1866 and the Vase of Flowers on a Console  made for the Teulons in 1868. Didn't Bazille want to make a preparatory study for the two paintings Young Woman with Peonies [Previously Négresse aux pivoines]? This proposal of Daulte's is not to be dismissed because these Flowers give the impression of having been done quickly, which explains the breadth of the strokes as well as the rich material. This makes Xavier Dejean say that there is "an immediate communication of Bazille with the flower, a kind of sensuality amazed and without complex that works in frank and raw strokes" [Catalogue of the Fabre Museum exhibition, 1984].

To whom was this little painting really intended? Bazille spoke on several occasions of a painting for Suzanne, his sister-in-law. "I will certainly make the flowers I promised Suzanne", he wrote to his mother on January 17, 1870... Around April 7 or 8, he spoke again of his project, explaining, "It will take me a good month to finish the flowers I have started..."

Finally, in the first half of May, with the painting still unfinished, he explained that he wanted it "neat" but was "forced to interrupt it from time to time to work on drawings", presumably drawings for Ruth and Booz. So it would have taken several weeks to complete this painting? One may wonder, as does Sarraute, who wonders if, after all, the painting intended for Suzanne might not be the Young Woman with Peonies. Sarraute launches a timid hypothesis here. In any case, we can ask ourselves the question.