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Frederic Bazille

the Improvised Ambulance


Dare to improvise

athletes training  in the discus throw

same clearing  clumsily send  their projectile

            in  group leadership. The disc falls and

            speeding towards the  picnic.  

            Monet, to protect his friends - or save  

            its composition  - intervenes  and  scoop of a  

            deep calf injury.  Bazille reacts

            as an apprentice doctor: he makes a tourniquet,

            companion sound  friend at his neighboring inn,

            install it on the bed by raising the leg

            wounded with blankets, and makes

            even a makeshift drip in

            hanging an earthen pot over the wound  filled with permanganate and pierced with a hole. Then, to keep his comrade company, he takes the latter's equipment  and paints it,  sick and bedridden. Monet's misfortune proved to Bazille an excellent - albeit impromptu - source of inspiration.

In 1865, Frédéric Bazille and Claude Monet were still two young painters aged 24 and 25,  far from imagining that they will soon  give birth to one 

from  most innovative movements in history

tory  of art: Impressionism. The two

friends  they met  in Paris three more years

early: Monet arrived from Le Havre to complete his

painter training ,  and Bazille de Mont- Peller

to study medicine according to

the  wish of  his parents .  From then on , they ex-

together the possibilities offered by

outdoor painting.  

That summer, when Monet was planning to paint a country luncheon scene in the  forest of Fontai-nebleau, he asks Bazille to join him to pose among the group of friends gathered for the occasion. During one of the work sessions, an accident occurs:

Claude Monet,

Luncheon on the Grass , 1865

What we can take away:

Putting an idea into practice requires preparation. But wanting to foresee everything  and organize before we start, we risk closing ourselves  to certain opportunities. Knowing how to improvise by showing spontaneity - and audacity -  is a valuable talent for seizing opportunities that arise without having been anticipated, and which are nonetheless potentially interesting.

Related theme: Creativity
Related topic: Method
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