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Frédéric Bazille

The Digital Catalogue Raisonné

by Michel Schulman
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Self-Portrait in Shirt Sleeves

Huile sur toile [restauré en 1945]
46 x 38 cm - 18 1/8 x 15 15/26 in.
Collection particulière
Dernière mise à jour : 2022-03-25 09:09:33
Référence : MSb-67


Famille de l'artiste, Montpellier - 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° 9.


Paris, galerie Wildenstein, 1950, n° 26 - Montpellier, musée Fabre, 1959, n° 15 - Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1978, n° 25, repr.  p. 67 - Montpellier, musée Fabre, 1984, [n.n] - Montpellier, New York, 1992-1993, n° 41, repr. p. 136 - Montpellier, Paris, New York, 2016-2017, cat. 63, repr. p. 254  [Les références sont du catalogue en français].


Sarraute, Cat. exp. galerie Wildenstein, 1950, n° 26 - Daulte, Bazille et son temps, 1952, n° 56, p. 189 [Thèse sous la direction de Gaston Poulain] - Dejean, Cat. exp. musée Fabre, 1984, p. 2 - Vuatone, Cat. exp. Montpellier, New York, 1992-1993, n° 41, repr. p. 136 - Schulman, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue  raisonné, 1995, n° 67, repr. p. 223 - Hilaire, Jones, Perrin, Cat. exp. Montpellier, Paris, Washington, 2016-2017, cat. 63, repr. p. 254 [Non exposé - Les références sont du catalogue en français] - Schulman, Frédéric Bazille : Catalogue raisonné numérique, 2022, n° 67.

Of the four known self-portraits by Bazille, the one titled Self-Portrait in Shirt Sleeves is certainly the most original and spontaneous. The artist presented himself from three quarters in a familiar outfit, in contrast to the way he painted himself in Frédéric Bazille with a Palette and Self-Portait with a Detachable Collar. It looks as if the artist, with a gentle smile on his lips and slightly mocking eyes, has fixed himself in a moment of relaxation and wanted to give an image of himself that is more familiar than professional. The painting, more than any other, is painted vividly, in a range of browns and ochres that are enhanced by energetic brushstrokes. "This portrait is a mixture of skill and naivety", writes Sarraute, but the only naivety we find is that of the too stiff and massive stroke. It is Xavier Dejean who makes the most accurate judgment when he says that this portrait is "unique in its explosion of happiness, its free and round writing [...] It bursts with youth [...] Rarely is we given such a relaxed image of him" [Dejean, Exhibition catalogue, Montpellier, Summer 1984]. The question of his dating is still open. Marandel opts for 1867; Daulte specifies that "according to a letter from Maître, it appears that this self-portrait was not painted in 1867, but begun in 1869 and completed at Méric in the Summer of 1870" [Daulte, 1992, p. 181]. It is surprising, however, that Bazille took up his painting again a year after he had begun it. It gives us the impression of having been done, as if to satisfy a sudden urge to paint. However, in Bazille's production, the Summer of 1870 was short, since he enlisted in the Zouaves on August 16. In the absence of further information, we date this painting from 1870. There is a probably preparatory drawing Self-Portrait which is in the collections of Orsay Museum.

Related Works

Oeuvre en rapport
Autoportrait - Fusain et encre brune - 30, 5 x 23, 2 cm - Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts graphiques (MSb-107)