In 1867, fellow Impressionists, Frederic Bazille and Pierre-Auguste Renoir shared a studio in Paris. Bazille, greatly influenced by Delacroix, Rousseau, and Gustave, painted the portrait of Renoir while they both worked in their shared studio near the École des Beaux-Arts in the 6th arrondissement. The painting, measuring 62cm x 51cm, is now exhibited in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Renoir captured Bazille at work in their studio, while Bazille and Sisley painted a still-life of a heron and sparrows. Two resulting paintings of the still-life are now kept in the Musée Fabre in Montpellier. Renoir’s artistic style was a product of his admiration for the beauty and feminine sensuality he had observed in his surroundings.
Sadly, Frederick Bazille perished in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, which deeply affected Renoir and their artistic community. “Frédéric Bazille at his Easel,” painted by Renoir in response to Bazille’s portrait of him, is now part of the Musée d’Orsay’s permanent collection. It’s worth noting that the Heron with Wings Unfurled by Pierre-Auguste Renoir was completed in 1867, several years before the first Impressionist exhibition. Early in his career, Renoir’s works portrayed real-life snapshots full of sparkling color and light as characteristic of the Impressionist movement.