Lot 374
  • 374

FRÉDÉRIC BAZILLE | Thérèse lisant dans le parc de Méric

200,000 - 300,000 USD
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  • Frédéric Bazille
  • Thérèse lisant dans le parc de Méric
  • Signed F.Bazille and dated 67 (lower left); signed with the initials F.B, dated 67, dedicated à Thérèse and inscribed Méric (on the reverse)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 36 1/4 by 23 1/4 in.
  • 92 by 59.2 cm
  • Painted in 1867.


Thérèse des Hours, France (acquired from the artist)
Henriette Blanche Auriol, France (by descent from the above)
Général Jules René Henry Cazalis, France (by descent from the above)
Galerie Eugène Blot, Paris (acquired from the above)
Ernst Horndasch, Munich (acquired from the above in 1923)
Private Collection, Europe 
Thence by descent


Michel Schulman, Frédéric Bazille, 1841-1870, Catalogue raisonné supplément 2, Paris, 2016, no. 5, illustrated p. 10


The edges of the canvas has been strip lined. There is an inscription on the reverse reading "à Thérèse Méric 67". The is some stable craquelure visible throughout the work and perhaps some very minor surface dirt. There is a patch on the reverse at upper center likely corresponding to a repair. There is a repaired tear about 3 inches in length extending near the right of the figure as well as a possible repair in the lower center of the canvas under the stretcher bar. Under UV light a few small areas of inpainting are visible in the sky between the leaves of the tree at center and in the leaves to the tree at far right. There are a few minor strokes of inpainting along the right edge, likely to address prior frame abrasion. Though not clearly visible under UV light there may be some inpainting to the figure's hand. This work is in good condition.For a more thorough condition report prepared by Simon Parkes Art Conservation please contact the Impressionist & Modern Art Department at +1 (212) 606 -7360.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Thérèse des Hours is the subject of many of Bazille’s best-known canvases, including La Robe rose and his masterpiece Réunion de famille, the latter painted during the same summer as the present work (see figs. 1 & 2). Thérèse was a cousin of the artist and the two families would spend long vacations together at their Méric estate near Montpellier, the gardens of which serve as the backdrop for some of his most important Impressionist paintings, including the aforementioned Réunion de famille.As Paul Perrin writes, “Fréderic Bazille, who was killed before reaching the age of twenty-nine, painted only just over sixty pictures in less than eight years. During his lifetime, he sold not a single one and exhibited only five at the Salon. His early demise prevented him from taking part in the flourishing of Impressionism and sharing the success of his friends Monet and Renoir, and any attention his paintings, nearly all kept at his parents’ home in Montpellier, were getting was exclusively from his family and their visitors. Everything seemed to be conspiring to condemn the artist to the limbo of art history, and yet, a hundred and fifty years on, we find Bazille’s work in the world’s most famous museums, and being celebrated once more” (Paul Perrin, “Frédéric Bazille’s Fame has Only Just Begun,” in Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870) and the Birth of Impressionism (exhibition catalogue), Musée Fabre, Montpellier, Musée d’Orsay, Paris & National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2016-17, p. 203).

Bazille gave up his medical studies in Paris in the early 1860s in order to devote himself entirely to painting, enrolling in the studio of the academician Charles Gleyre, where his fellow students included Monet, Renoir and Sisley. Being of relatively comfortable means, Bazille was generous to his less fortunate artist friends; he would often let his colleagues use his studio in Batignolles and borrow his materials. Fellow residents included the poet Stéphane Mallarmé and Édouard Manet. Renoir would move in with Bazille around 1868 and later so would Monet. As Bazille described in a letter to his mother: “Monet has popped up out of nowhere with a collection of magnificent canvases… With Renoir, that makes two hard-up painters I am putting up. It’s quite an infirmary here” (quoted in Michel Schulmann, Frédéric Bazille, 1841-1870, Catalogue raisonné: peintures, dessins, pastels, aquarelles; sa vie, son oeuvre, sa correspondence, Paris, 1995, p. 354, translated from French).

Bazille’s rooms on the rue de la Condamine are immortalized in one of his most famous paintings, now also in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, depicting himself with Renoir, Zola, Manet and Monet engaged in an intense discussion about a canvas.

Michel Shulman has confirmed the authenticity of this work.