BAZILLE, Jean-Frédéric
(b. 1841, Montpellier, d. 1870, Beaune-la-Rolande)


French Impressionist painter who was born into a wealthy family. He became interested in painting after seeing some works of Eugène Delacroix. His family agreed to let him study painting, but only if he also studied medicine. He moved to Paris in 1862 where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley, was drawn to Impressionist painting, and began taking classes in Charles Gleyre's studio. After failing his medical exam in 1864, he began painting full-time. His close friends included Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, and Édouard Manet.

Bazille, who had a comfortable allowance from his family, was able to help other young Impressionist artists who were often in dire financial straits. Monet and Auguste Renoir shared his studio when they could not afford their own. Bazille also bought paintings from his friends.

Bazille volunteered for service when the Franco-Prussian War broke out in July 1870. He was killed a few months later. During his short career he produced about sixty paintings that survive today. Bazille is less well known than many of his contemporaries, in part because his family retained most of his work for many years.