Title: Bazille and Camille (Study for “Dejeuner sur l’Herbe”)
Artist: Claude Monet (1840-1926)
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MONET? BEGIN A JOURNEY THROUGH HIS ARTISTIC WORLD
Did you know that Claude Monet began his career as a teenager and continued to create until his death at 86 in 1926? Most of us are familiar with Monet’s iconic Impressionist works. However Monet, like any great artist, expressed himself in multiple styles. So for the next month, experience the artistic world of the French master, from the young, aspiring painter to one of the most famous figures of his day.
Here is the second entry in our series.
#2 — By the time, Monet painted the work spotlighted above, he was already focusing on landscape as his major subject. Bazille and Camille, now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, is a study for a much larger painting called Dejeuner sur l’Herbe or Luncheon on the Grass that Monet had planned to submit to the Salon (which represented the French art establishment). Unfortunately he was unable to finish this massive undertaking; only two fragments remain, one of them measuring approximately 8 by 7 feet.
Bazille and Camille, though much smaller in size (only about 3 by 2 feet), introduces us to Camille Doncieux (1847-1879), Monet’s muse and future wife. Still a teenager she poses with Monet’s friend and colleague Frederic Bazille (1841-1870), a pioneer of the French Impressionist movement, who died tragically a few years later in the Franco-Prussian War.
Monet’s ultimate goal was to place the two figures within the surrounding wooded environment, enveloped in natural sunlight. Because it is a preliminary sketch, Camille and Bazille allows us to see the artist’s creative process.. For Monet uses thick brushstrokes as a kind of shorthand, accenting the movement of light, whether in the ground and trees, on Camille’s skirt, as well as Bazille’s shoulders and hat.
You might want to view the two existing fragments of Dejeuner sur l’Herbe, presently in the collection of the Musee D’Orsay, by googling wikipedia’s account.
COMING SOON: MONET, A LOVE OF THE SEA
In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
The National Gallery of Art does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the National Gallery of Art participated in any projects utilizing the said image.