Oil on canvas signed "Bail Joseph" in the lower right corner.
Dimensions 37cm x 45cm - With frame 56cm x 63,5cm
Born in 1862 near Lyon, Joseph Bail apprenticed under the direction of the greatest masters of the time, Gérôme (1824-1904) and Carolus Duran (1837-1917). Very precocious, this artist exhibited in Lyon in 1877 when he was only sixteen years old. In 1878, he exhibited in Paris at the Salon des Artistes Français. He will be, until his death, a faithful representative.
Joseph Bail excelled in genre painting and still life. His admiration for the painter Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin (1699-1779) is omnipresent. Joseph Bail's world is realistic but imbued with a gentle poetry. These interiors show young cooks or young women, in a half-light where the light springs from a window, in the manner of Vermeer (1632-1675). His works inspire serenity and happiness without artifice. Joseph Bail was widely recognized during his lifetime for his work, winning the silver medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1889, the gold medal at the Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1900, and the medal of honor at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1902.
Our painting was most certainly done at the "Hospices de Beaune" where Joseph Bail set up his easel at an early age. In this magnificent place, the artist executed numerous portraits of people immersed in their activities.
Near the window are three young women learning to knit. The light from outside gently illuminates the faces of the young women. The ceramic on the stool is an echo of his early still lifes where he also excelled.
This work shows the talent of the artist who shows great dexterity in painting gestures, fabrics, utensils, effects of light and shadow. Joseph Bail uses here a classical composition based on rhythm and balance as well as on the opposition of tones and pictorial materials: the backgrounds are painted very lightly, like transparent glazes, while the characters and utensils are treated in full pate. In the background, the painter has very cleverly placed a door opening through which the light comes to create a vanishing point in this beautiful composition.
Some Museums in which Joseph Bail's works can be found :
Montreal, Lombard Museum of Doullens, Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon, Nancy, in Paris at the Museum of Modern Art, at the Petit Palais and at the Luxembourg Museum...
4 600 €
Price : on request