Frédéric Bazille: Impressionist Painter of Light, Air—and Bromance …

THE DAILY PIC (#1781): I can’t say I have fallen wildly in love with any single picture by the obscure Impressionist painter Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870), now getting an important, rare survey at the National Gallery in Washington. But a number of Bazille’s paintings let us in on a crucial aspect of Impressionism that most of his colleagues left unstated: That it was a movement of guys, for guys, full of guy-ish display and dependant on guy-ish social connections. Bazille’s love of the Parisian art scene was clearly as much about the comrades he met there – Monet, Renoir and other future stars – as it was about any pictures that got painted in their shared studios.

This “homosociality” comes most clear in today’s Daily Pic, a painting called Summer Scene that Bazille completed not long before volunteering for the French military and then getting killed, at only 29.

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