How To Create A Visual Resonnance In A Painting

Renoir: Painted by Frédéric Bazille
Oil on Canvas - Musee d'Orsay, Paris

One very strange incident happened in the year 1860. Jean-Frédéric Bazille was on the verge of becoming a physician, as his parents had decided. 

However, his wealthy father gave him one concession. As he had agreed to study the medicines, his parents agreed to his advances in the field of art. 

And the gentleman Jean-Frédéric Bazille never became a doctor; but he became one of the best impressionist painters.  

Frederic had descended on the airstrip of painting due to his intuitive elements. On his visit to Paris, he found a new light in the colours. He found a pathway for his talents. His love of art would make him a good friend of master artists like Degas, Renoir, Berthe Morisot, Manet, Sisley, Monet and a host of other contemporary impressionists. Frederic’s early attempts at impressionist painting adventures were presented to the master artists in Paris. They admired his work.

Were we to find any difference between the impressionist artists and the others, the most striking would be the location of doing the paintings. The outdoor locations. They would take their colours, canvases and the ‘long hand brushes’, and would proceed on a short trip: to the river banks, to the thick of the forests, or to the sand smelling seashores. It is because they, the impressionists wanted to catch the here and now feeling of the scenes they painted.

The Family Reunion (1868) by Frédéric Bazille
Oil on Canvas - Musee d'Orsay, France, Paris

The Artist: Though having a well-equipped studio, Jean-Frédéric Bazille did paint on locations. Sitting on a bank of a river or a hillside, there would emerge an artwork. When these artists were at work, the ‘outdoor figural art’ was at its best, perhaps. In the paintings done by the impressionist artists, the visual resonance was given higher space than the logical depiction of the scene of the person being painted. That element made the difference. The painting given here The Family Reunion by Frederic is one of the finest examples of the artworks done during this period. Like his other peers, here Frederic Bazille had remained preoccupied with depicting the Parisians and their love of sunlight. They used to hold parties in open spaces.

Frederic’s living in Paris was the happiest time of his life. It was the time when the master artists were around. Moreover, the streets of Paris were the dream destination for all the artists. In Paris, Frederic was able to meet many master artists of the time. And what was happening in his time? The world of painting was taking a new shape during those days. Frederic witnessed these artistic changes along with his friends.

Were we to judge the artworks of an artist, we should know about how the artist imagined while doing his work. Every artist has his or her peculiar temperament and the method of expressing herself or himself. Frédéric Bazille took the help of impressionism as the style of art for doing his paintings. He used the style of impressionism extensively. he used it vary significantly with deep meaning. 

Frédéric Bazille Painting at his Easel
-by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Oil on Canvas   Musee Fabre, France

The Art: Art and artistic depiction is a subjective phenomenon. There are artists of several types; two of them are like this; one, the artists Painting their Imaginations, and two, the Artists Depicting their Individuality. What an artist sees with his or her eyes is the same as all of us see with our eyes. But the artist's eyes make a variation. What an artist perceives through the filters of imagination makes a difference.                

Look at Frederick Bazille's portrait painted by the master artist Renoir. Here Frederick is sitting on a chair and painting at his easel. Unlike a portrait painting, in this portrait, the face is given less weightage, lesser than the details of the other objects present in the studio.

We can see a rose and would understand that it is beautiful and it looks nice on the plant. It makes out a good scene in our veranda. But when an artist sees the same rose, he or she would think differently. An artist's view could be like this: the rose has unlimited colours on its petals and every petal is radiating these colours in the surrounding. In short, every artist would think creatively. Frédéric Bazille was the man who thought very creatively. 

The Pink Dress   Frédéric Bazille
Musee d"Orsay, Paris

Painting Analysed: The painting that is given here was titled The Pink Dress (1864). The sitter herein is Frederick's cousin. She is painted seated on a wide stone-built wall, looking at the far scenario. This very typical, as most of the artist would paint the model looking at the viewers.

Here keeping the model so positioned, the artists wanted to emphasize the importance of the landscape and not of the person.   That is how the impressionist artists would think; that is how those freedom-lover artists always thought. They all believed in non-traditional ways of executing their art-pieces. Frederick followed the tradition of the time. He wanted to make a painting that would look impersonal. He did it. He presented only the beauty of the mother earth.  

What catches our eyes is the contrast the artists has created by painting the trees in the near vicinity, infusing much detail in them. The village is situated at a distance. The houses of the village are sun-bathing. Like all the impressionist artists, Frederick had tried to paint the moment of the time. The sunlight and the freshness of the scene. Presently this painting is exhibited in Musee d'Orsay, Paris.

The Tragic Death: Now about some facts of his life: very hard facts. When the Franco-Prussian-war started in the year 1970, the artist in Frederic Bazille could not resist the call of the nation. He joined the army. He was deployed for training and to fight at the frontier of Algeria. Tragically enough, Frederic was killed in the same year on November 28, 1870. One more tragic fact: his age was only twenty-eight years when he died. Jean-Frédéric Bazille (December 6, 1841 – November 28, 1870). We love good people, but God likes them more than us, perhaps. That's why he calls good people back earlier. [All the paintings are in Public Domain, taken from Wikimedia Commons]

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