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Frédéric Bazille

The Digital Catalogue Raisonné

by Michel Schulman
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Portrait of Edmond Maître

Huile sur toile
36 x 28 cm - 14 3/16 x 11 in.
Collection particulière
Dernière mise à jour : 2022-03-29 11:30:49
Référence : MSb-28


Edmond Maître - Mme Grenier de Cardenal (née Elisabeth Maître) - Collection particulière - Vente Sotheby's, Londres, 20 juin 2013, n° 335 - Collection particulière.


Paris, galerie Wildenstein, 1950, n° 27 - Montpellier, musée Fabre, 1959, Rétrospective Bazille, n° 16.


Poulain, Bazille et ses amis, 1932, cité pp. 69, 77-78 - Daulte, Arts, 9 juin 1950 - Daulte, Bazille et son temps, 1952, n° 20,  p. 174 [Thèse sous la direction de Gaston Poulain] - Daulte, L’Œil, avril 1978, n° 273, repr. p. 36 - Chicago, The  Art Institute of Chicago, 1978, repr. p. 23 - Daulte, 1992, Frédéric Bazille Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, n° 25, repr. p. 31 et pp. 163-164 [Réédition de 1952 avec photos en couleur] - Michel, Bazille, 1992, p. 120, 137 - Schulman, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné, 1995, n° 28, p. 147 [Non reproduit] - Schulman, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné numérique, 2022, n° 28.

This Portrait of Edmond Maître is in fact only a fragment. It was part of a larger painting, the one that Maître spoke of to his father in a letter of February 22, 1867: "Bazille has undertaken to make a portrait from the hairline to the knees". Our painter intended this large painting for the Salon of 1867 but it was refused. This failure must hardly have surprised him: he was himself so unsatisfied with his painting that he cut it up to keep only this bust with rather naïve accents, and time did not lessen his discontent since he expressed himself, unchanged, in a letter of January 1, 1869: "I have set about redoing a portrait of Master to replace the one I had given him two years ago and which I find too bad".

Maître is seen from the front, carefully dressed and hair dressed, very different from what he will be in the 1869 portrait. Two years separate the two paintings, but the physical appearance of the sitter suggests a larger gap. We do not find here what generally characterizes Bazille's portraits, i.e. a desire to render the subject matter in all its density, for "Bazille constructs the form according to a contrast of light and shadow. He then uses a smooth technique à la Manet. In this portrait of Master, for example, the paleness of the figure is highlighted by dark masses surrounding it" [Daulte, June 9, 1950, No. 266, p. 8].

Note that the Portrait of Edmond Maître of 1869 takes up Bazille's original idea of making a portrait practically from head to toe.

Related Works

Oeuvre en rapport
Portrait d'Edmond Maître - Huile sur toile - 83 x 64, 2 cm - National Gallery of Art (MSb-48)