Joseph Bail (1862 – 1921)
Joseph Bail was born on January in Limonest in the Rhone region of France. His father, Jean-Antoine Bail, was a trained genre painter who was heavily influenced by the Dutch masters and focused his attention on depicting scenes from daily life. In a period of increasing modernity and industrialization, these paintings glorified the past ways of life in France and found a sympathetic audience in bourgeois patrons.
Just after his sixteenth birthday, Bail debuted at the Salon of 1878 with Nature Morte. The still life tradition in France was invigorated by the work of Jean-Siméon Chardin in the eighteenth century and still lifes continued to be a major interest for many artists and many occupied themselves primarily with this type of painting.
Just as Claude Monet would do, Bail studied the changing effects of light on haystacks in the countryside. But as his style progressed, he showed a stronger affinity with his father’s work and that of the Chardin and the Dutch masters, choosing to portray room interiors illuminated by a strong light source.
He also combined his modeling and placement of objects with his interest in human form and emotion in several of his works, depicting the daily activities of the household as completed by maids and cooks, many of whom were young children, thus continuing the tradition of Théodule Ribot. Bail became best known for these paintings of maids and cooks.
His playful images of cooks and their young assistants, along with an interest in light effects, established Bail as an artist who not only looked to the past but who used the modern movement of Realism to execute paintings that showed modern-day preoccupations with daily life that was becoming more and more rare in late nineteenth century France.
A List of important works of the Artist. Visit the gallery with large-size images, date, size, location and technical information.