After centuries in which art idealized nature, the time came when a few artists regarded nature as it is, depicting solely what they saw. They perceived nature as the utmost delightful image to capture in their art. So they painted with passion, striving to show the world that we do not need to seek perfection, for it lies right in front of us, in nature’s divine lights and colors.
Obviously their work was rejected by the public, being regarded as something that is not even remotely close to art. Nobody bought their paintings, and critiques alleged that the impressionists declared a war on beauty, so loathed was their art. However they did not give up, fighting poverty in order to make people understand what they wanted to transmit.
It was called the Impressionist movement. A few french painters in the late 19th century, endeavoring to change the world. They defeated the poverty and ingratitude that challenged them everyday of their life, led solely by hope and passion. Their passion overcame the wish to give up, making them even more worthy of our respect.
Frédéric Bazille was one of them. Humorous indeed, pecuniary problems did not affect him. He actually came from quite a rich family, a high regarded one. He was granted permission to come to Paris to study art only if he would study medicine as well. But driven by his passion for painting and his inspiration from his fellow painters (Degas, Renoir, Manet, Monet), he failed medical school. However this only made him dedicate himself body and soul to his work.
Notwithstanding his fortune, he was never haughty or snobbish, but he was kind-hearted and attentive with his friends. He was extremely helpful to them, lending them his studio and allowing them to live with him as much as they needed.
In spite of his great talent, his courteous manner and his impressive works of art, he strikes as a rather unknown person today. That is mainly because his tragic death ended his career prematurely. He enrolled himself in the Franco-Prussian war, hastily dying at only 29 years old.
It is highly probable that if he hadn’t died in the war he would have been one of the most famous impressionist painters, and more people would know who he was today.