Porte de la Reine at Aigues-Mortes

Artist: Jean-Frédéric Bazille (French, Montpellier 1841–1870 Beaune-la-Rolande)

Date: 1867

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 31 3/4 x 39 1/4 in. (80.6 x 99.7 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of Raymonde Paul, in memory of her brother, C. Michael Paul, by exchange, 1988

Accession Number: 1988.221


During the late spring of 1867 Bazille visited the town of Aigues-Mortes near his family home in Montpellier. Hoping for "at least eight beautiful days," he set himself the challenge of painting "absolutely simple" landscapes of the city and surrounding marshes. Of the artist’s three known views of the area, this is the only one to show the massive medieval walls of Aigues-Mortes from up close. It also displays the most striking light effects: the southern sun shines brightly through the archway, contrasting with the afternoon shadows that envelop the grazing Camargue pony and the figures in the foreground.