The musée Fabre de Montpellier Agglomération furthers its ambitious acquisition policy. Two paintings by Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870) have been bought during an auction in Clermont-Ferrand. An artist from Montpellier and friend of the first impressionist painters, Bazille had a short career (he died during a battle in Beaune-la-Rolande) and thus, any work from his hand takes the appearance of a rarity.
This two small paintings, Broth Tops and Two Herrings, come from the personal collection of Jean Thuile, an amateur from Montpellier, who was passionate of decorative arts. The muse Fabre already bought in 2007 wonderful silversmithing pieces of this collection.
The two works are from the first steps of the artist in Paris, are signed and datable in 1864. As a pupil in Charles Gleyre’s studio, young Bazille meets Monet, Sisley and Renoir. The have in common the will to renew painting by following Courbet’s and Manet’s steps. The influence of the latter in the two paintings is obvious: simplicity of the composition, strong execution in full colour, and modesty of these objects of the daily life echo the masterpieces of Manet. Impressionism will restore still-life’s honour, minor genre despised by the Academy, and will make it a motor for modernity, opening the road to Cézanne and Picasso.
The arrival of these two paintings in the collections of the musée Fabre completes the still-lifes like the Narcissus bouquet or the African Woman with Peonies. The musée Fabre de Montpellier Agglomération is still the main public collection for the work of this artist who died too young.