National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Young Woman with Peonies Frédéric Bazille (artist)
French, 1841 - 1870
Young Woman with Peonies, 1870
oil on canvas
overall: 60 x 75 cm (23 5/8 x 29 1/2 in.) framed: 83.8 x 99.4 x 7.6 cm (33 x 39 1/8 x 3 in.)
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
1983.1.6
Not on View
From the Tour: Manet and His Influence
Object 7 of 8

Perhaps because he died so young—killed during the Franco-Prussian War only days short of his twenty-ninth birthday—Bazille's name is less familiar than those of the other founders of impressionism. Bazille met Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley as fellow students in the studio of painter Charles Gleyre. The four were unimpressed by the lofty religious and mythological subjects and the polished painting style demanded by the academic tradition. They were attracted instead to the broad "unfinished" brushwork of Manet and also shared his preference for scenes of modern life.

This painting can be seen as Bazille's homage to Manet. The flower vendor appears to be a reference to the black woman with the extravagant bouquet in Manet's infamous Olympia. The flowers themselves, especially the prominent peonies, also offer a kind of tribute. Manet cultivated peonies and often painted their lush blooms. Bazille's painting style was usually more smoothly blended, but here, even his brushstrokes seem to echo Manet's thick patches of color.

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