Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–8 public


A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Frédéric Bazille (French, 1841-1870)

About this artwork

Frédéric Bazille was in his mid-20s when he executed this startlingly direct self-portrait. Depicted against a dark background with only his palette and brushes to indicate his profession, he looks at the viewer as if caught unawares. The unseen easel and canvas must be located immediately in front of the artist and to our left.

During his brief career, which ended when he was killed in the line of duty during the Franco-Prussian War, Frédéric Bazille produced about 70 paintings, 4 of them self-portraits. He created this work while sharing an apartment-studio with Claude Monet and experimenting with new painting techniques that would be central to the Impressionist movement. It was both a practice piece (in which Bazille observed and painted his reversed image as seen in a mirror) and, given his recent decision to abandon a medical career in favor of art, a professional manifesto.


On View, Gallery 225


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Frédéric Bazille




France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


108.9 × 71.1 cm (42 7/8 × 28 3/8 in.); Framed: 136.3 × 100.4 × 10.8 cm (53 5/8 × 39 1/2 × 4 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Woods in memory of Mrs. Edward Harris Brewer

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions