upper left: F. Bazille. 1869
The sitter, Edmond Maître [d. 1898]; his brother, Léon Maître. André Bazille, nephew of artist, from at least 1935 until 1941; Mme Rachou-Bazille, in 1959. (Wildenstein, London, New York and Paris); sold August 1960 to Paul Mellon, Upperville, VA; gift 1985 to NGA.
- Frederic Bazille, Association des Etudiants Protestants de Paris, Paris, 1935, no. 6, repro.
- Chefs d'oeuvres de l'art français, Palais National des Arts, Paris, 1937, no. 240
- Centenaire de Frédéric Bazille, Musée Fabre, Montpellier, 1941, no. 29
- Bazille, Wildenstein, Paris, 1950, no. 50
- Cent portraits d'hommes du XVIe siècle a nos jours, Galerie Charpentier, Paris, 1952, no. 1
- Frédéric Bazille, Musée Fabre, Montpellier, 1959, no. 34
- Artmobile II ("Twelve Portraits: Delacroix to Gauguin"), sponsored by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 1962, no. 11
- Delacroix to Gauguin: Ten Portraits, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 1962
- French Paintings from the Collections of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon and Mrs. Mellon Bruce, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1966, no. 111, repro.
- Frederic Bazille and Early Impressionism, Art Institute of Chicago, 1978, no. 37, repro.
- Gifts to the Nation: Selected Acquisitions from the Collections of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1986, unnumbered checklist
- Französische Impressionisten und ihre Wegbereiter aus der National Gallery of Art, Washington und dem Cincinnati Art Museum, Neue Pinakothek, Munich, 1990, no. 38, repro.
- Frédéric Bazille et Ses Amis Impressionnistes, Pavillon du musée Fabre, Montpelier, France; Brooklyn Museum; Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis, 1992-1993, no. 23, repro.
- Around Impressionism: French Paintings from the National Gallery of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1999, no cat.
- Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, 1999, no. 22, repro.
- Frédéric Bazille, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, 2003-2004, no. 21, repro.
- Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The National Art Center, Tokyo; Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, 2011, no. 1, repro.
- Goldwater, Robert. "The Glory that was France." Art News 65 (March 1966):42.
- Französische Impressionisten und ihre Wegbereiter aus der National Gallery of Art, Washington und dem Cincinnati Art Museum, Exh. cat. Neue Pinakothek, Munich, 1990: no. 38, repro.
- Daulte, François. Frédéric Bazille et les débuts de l'impressionisme. Paris, 1992:no. 52, repro.
- Bajou, Valérie. Frédéric Bazille 1841-1870. Aix-en-Provence, 1993:139-140, repro. 155
- Schulman, Michel. Frédéric Bazille 1841-1870: Catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1995:no. 48, repro.
- Pitman, Dianne W. Bazille: Purity, Pose, and Painting in the 1860s. The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998: 185-187, repro. no. 123.
With similar upper-class upbringings and a common interest in the arts—especially a shared passion for music—Frédéric Bazille and Edmond Maître became fast friends after meeting in Paris in 1865.
Dissatisfied with a frontal, bust-length portrait he had made of Maître as part of a larger composition two years earlier, Bazille adopted a different approach for this more intimate depiction of his friend as a quintessential dilettante. Seen in full profile, with his body turned at an angle relative to the placement of the chair, Maître has just a hint of a slouch as he peers down at the book resting open in his lap. Absorbed in his reading, he is careless of the cigar slowly burning to ash in his right hand. Elegantly but somewhat unconventionally attired, Maître’s warm brown trousers and dark blue, dotted, silk tie counterbalance the severity of his black jacket. A sprig of violets tucked into his lapel adds a note of color to the otherwise somber composition.