drapeau français english flag
logo catalogue Bazille
Frédéric Bazille

The Digital Catalogue Raisonné

by Michel Schulman
© Musée Fabre, Montpellier

Man Taming a Bull

Dessin à la plume et au crayon noir sur papier
11 x 15 cm - 4 5/16 x 5 15/16 in.
Montpellier, Musée Fabre, France - Inv. 68.3.3
Dernière mise à jour : 2022-03-16 06:34:57
Référence : MSb-104


Abbé Vigroux - Donné par l'abbé Vigroux au musée Fabre en 1968.


Montpellier, musée Fabre, 1941, n° 43 - Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1978, n° 45, repr. p. 97 - Montpellier, New York, 1992-1993, n° 36, repr. p. 131 - Paris, musée Marmottan Monet, 2003-2004, cat. 26, repr. p. 48 - Montpellier, Paris, Washington, 2016-2017, cat. 5, repr. p. 219 [Les références sont du catalogue en français].


Sarraute, 1948, p. 165 - Daulte, Bazille et son temps, 1952, n° 35, p. 199 [Thèse sous la direction de Gaston Poulain] - Marandel, Cat. exp. The Art Institute of Chicago, 1978, n° 45, repr. p. 97 - Jourdan, Cat. exp. musée Fabre, 1991-1992, p. 16-21 - Michel, Bazille, 1992, p. 146 - Jourdan, Cat. exp. Montpellier, New York, 1992-1993, n° 36, p. 131 - Schulman, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné, 1995, n° 16 des dessins, repr. p. 248 - Hilaire, Jones, Perrin, Cat. exp. Montpellier, Paris, Washington, 2016-2017, cat. 5, repr. p. 219  [Les références sont du catalogue en français] - Schulman, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné numérique, 2022, n° 104.

Bazille loved the Languedoc, its nature, its light and its customs. Already, in the album RF 5260 of the Orsay Museum kept in the Département des Arts graphiques in the Louvre Museum, he sketched hunting scenes and several animals, Study of Hunting Dogs; Hunting Scene. Hunter Playing the Horn; Study of Bouquetin; Studies of Animals; Rider Taming a Horse.

In a letter to his son dated April 7, 1866, Gaston Bazille speaks of a bull run that will take place in the village of Castelnau "next Sunday". It is undoubtedly in such circumstances that Bazille executed this powerful drawing in which he shows both his understanding of the subject and his mastery of graphic design. There is a long way from this sketch to his early studies, which were clumsy, fumbling and school-like.

Bazille wanted to render here the "volume" of the animal and the man as well as their movements. The man, with his right leg stretched forward, makes huge efforts to hold the animal by the horns. The bull is almost down on one knee and is beginning to weaken.

Géricault executed several paintings on the same theme, for example : Cheval arrêté par des esclaves et la Course de chevaux libres [Grunchec, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Géricault, Paris, Flammarion, n° 113, 114, and 115]. In the background, we notice people, barely sketched, probably picadors as Delacroix did [Picador, 1832, watercolor, donations Claude Roger-Marx, Département des Arts graphiques, musée du Louvre].