Born in 1841 and destined for medicine by his family, Frédéric Bazille could not resist the call of painting, his true vocation. In 1862, he moved to Paris and joined the studio of the painter Gleyre where he met Monet and Renoir, with whom he would share a studio from 1865. Very quickly, he was part of a group of great talents in the making, including Degas, Sisley, Manet, Cézanne and Pissarro. A great admirer of Delacroix, his silhouette is familiar to us, since he served as Monet’s model for “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe”, and was portrayed on several occasions by his painter friends, notably Renoir. He represented himself in his studio in 1870, rue de la Condamine, accompanied by Monet, Manet, Zola and Renoir. A shooting star of the pictorial scene, since he died at the age of 29 during the War of 1870, he heralded what Impressionism would be like through his choice of subjects focused on contemporary life, the clear tones of his palette and his rejection of academic painting. His modernity of form and choice of subjects did not make him forget the importance of the line. He thus strives to restore tangible reality, not wanting to “paint only the appearance of things”.
In 2014, the Modern and Impressionist Paintings department has been chosen to appraise and put on sale a remarkable painting by the Impressionist master, Portrait of a Dragon. Thanks to the seriousness, determination and work of the team of experts led by Charlotte Reynier-Aguttes, the painting obtained twice the price of the low estimate with its 220,000 euros at the hammer.