top of page

Bazille's studio

Painted on an abandoned canvas by Renoir, the studio in rue de la Condamine is a painting by Frédéric Bazille, made a few months before his death at the battle of Beaune-la-Rolande, in November 1870. In this bright and high room ceiling, like a cathedral dedicated to all forms of art, painting, music and literature come together.

Camille Pissarro Bazincourt, effet de neige. Coucher du soleil, 1892, Huile sur toile, 32 x 41 cm, Hasso Platner Collection / Sammlung Hasso Plattner
Frederic Bazille. L'atelier de la rue de la Condamine. 1870. Musée D'Orsay

Perched on the ramp, Émile Zola discusses with Auguste Renoir. Edmond Maître plays the piano. Standing three-quarters in front of his easel, the great Frédéric Bazille, painted on this occasion by Edouard Manet, converses with the latter, wearing a black hat and a cane on his shoulder. At the back, Claude Monet seems to indicate a detail on the canvas.

On the wall, next to the glass roof which reveals the roofs of Paris, Bazille painted Renoir's bathers, refused at the Salon of 1866, above a still unfinished painting (la Toilette) intended for the Salon of 1870.

Henri Fantin-Latour. Un atelier aux Batignolles. 1870. Musée d'Orsay

We find all these characters on the canvas by Henri Fantin-Latour, painted the same year. Around Manet, seated in front of his easel, the artist stages in the background on the right Monet, then Bazille, easily recognizable by his size, his hands behind his back, Edmond Maître, Zola who is holding his eyeglass in his hand, and Renoir with his hat. Newcomer, Otto Scholderer, painter of Prussian origin, behind Manet, on the sidelines.

Of the eight characters, only four contemplate the painting. Manet, obviously in the process of painting, does not look at what he is doing, as if Fantin-Latour had just challenged him. One cannot help comparing this attitude with that of Gustave Caillebotte's self-portrait, made ten years later.

In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...


bottom of page