Summer Scene, also known as “Bathers,” is a fascinating oil painting created by French impressionist painter Frédéric Bazille in 1869. This artwork measures 160.7 x 160.0 cm and can be found at the Fogg Museum in Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The painting depicts a contemporary weekend bathers’ scene in a beautiful natural setting using various innovative techniques such as highly contrasting colors and light effects. It involves strong portrait-like depictions of Bazille’s cousin who gazes at the sunlit landscape around her during what is assumed to be a peaceful moment on this beach.
Bazille reworked the canvas extensively over winter before submitting it to the Salon Jury for inclusion in the 1868 exhibition where it was accepted. Notably, he did not live to see his work displayed as he died during the Franco-Prussian War four years before being featured at what would have been his first-ever exhibition.
The painting has become an essential piece of Impressionist Art due to its portrayal of genre scenes that are still popular today. Its acquisition by The Fogg Art Museum in 1937 from Bazille’s family underscores its importance in art history.”