Bazille came from Montpellier but soon migrated to Paris (1862), studying in the studio of the academic painter, Charles Gleyre where he met Monet, Sisley and Renoir. His promising career was tragically cut short by the Franco-Prussian War: he was killed in battle on 28 November 1870. Although, for it date (1868), not as advanced as the work of Monet or Renoir, the View of a Village shows well the Impressionist style in embryo: the careful observation of light effects, the use of colour in shadow (note the treatment of grass and bushes on the right), the informal com- position, the attempt to depict the model in the open air rather than in front of a land- scape backdrop, and the choice of a subject without dramatic or sentimental overtones. The handling of the paint is still rather heavy and suggests the influence of Courbet's pic- tures, which Bazille admired. The model was the daughter of a tenant farmer on his parents estate near Montpellier. The somewhat con- servative air of the View of a Village probably explains why it was accepted for the Paris Salon of 1869, for which canvases by both Sisley and Monet were refused. Not that Bazille regarded this as an unqualified triumph; to be turned down by the Salon was in some respects more helpful to the cause of the avant garde. "What pleases me he wrote in the spring of 1869, "is that there i genuine animosity against us; it is M. Gérome who has done all the harm; he has treated us as a band of lunatics and declared that he believed it his duty to do everything to prevent our paintings from appearing; all that isn't bad.' Bazille was one of the models for Monet's Picnic.
Source: Painters of Light. the World of Impressionism, Keith Roberts.