- Frédéric Bazille
- JEUNE FILLE AUX YEUX BAISSÉS
- signed F. Bazille (centre right)
- oil on canvas
- 46.2 by 38.2cm., 18 1/4 by 15 1/8 in.
Family of the artist
André Bazille, Montpellier
Mme Rachou-Bazille, Montpellier
Acquired from the above by the present owner in February 1989
Montpellier, Musée Fabre, Centenaire de Bazille, 1941, no. 26
Paris, Galerie Wildenstein, 1950, no. 29
Montpellier, Musée Fabre, 1959, no. 18
Nice, Galerie des Ponchettes, Le Second Empire, 1960, no. 103
Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Frédéric Bazille and Early Impressionism, 1978, no. 48, illustrated in the catalogue
Brooklyn, The Brooklyn Museum & Memphis, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Frédéric Bazille: Prophet of Impressionism, 1992-93, no. 17
François Daulte, Frédéric Bazille et son temps, Geneva, 1952, no. 40, illustrated n.p.
François Daulte, Frédéric Bazille et les débuts de l'impressionnisme. Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, Paris, 1992, no. 44, illustrated pp. 144 & 172 (as dating from 1868)
Michel Schulman, Frédéric Bazille 1841-1870, Catalogue raisonné, Peintures, dessins, pastels, aquarelles, Paris, 1995, no. 42, illustrated p. 175
The enigmatic Jeune Femme aux Yeux Baissés was painted circa 1868, whilst Bazille was sharing a small artist's studio in rue Visconti with Renoir. There was a real intimacy at this time between the artists, who both painted portraits of one another in 1866 (fig. 1). A letter home to his parents records the arrival of his fellow artist; "I've extended my hospitality to one of my friends, a former student of Gleyre's, who lacks a studio at the moment. Renoir, that's his name, is a real worker, he takes advantage of my models and helps me pay for them" (quoted in Frédéric Bazille, Prophet of Impressionism (exhibition catalogue), Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn & Dixon Gallery, Memphis, 1992-93, p. 38). This work illustrates this cooperative relationship in practice, as the young model bears a distinct similarity to Renoir's Diana (Fig 2.), which was painted during the same period.
In the work itself, Bazille focuses his attention on the play of light on the face, bust and dress of the young woman. The awkward simplicity in the posture of the woman is clearly reminiscent of Manet, the artist to whom the young painter was most often compared. Both artists sort to refresh the painting of the past, and this work blends academic techniques with modern tonal harmonies in a way that prefigures later developments in Impressionism.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Bazille au chevalet, 1867, oil on canvas, Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Fig. 2, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Diana Chasseresse, 1867, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington