Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)

Rue de Paris temps de pluie -  Rainy Day in Paris (1877)

Gustave Caillebotte was a man of substance, in addition to being a great artist. 

Born into an upper class Parisian family, he had both wealth and high standing, inheriting the family textile business, as well as practising law and even serving as a judge. He was a qualified engineer, and as a soldier campaigned in the ill-fated Franco-Prussian war which led to the collapse of the Second Empire and the creation of the Third Republic in 1870.

He began painting after the war, and in 1876 became an active member in the ranks of the impressionists, contributing as an artist, but also as a patron, due to his personal wealth.

In 1877 Caillebotte painted his Jour de pluie à Paris, a charming street scene on the Place de Dublin, not far from the Place de Clichy and the Gare St. Lazare train station. The painting became one of the main attractions at the Third Impressionist Exhibition in Paris.

His other works include a quasi-photographic picture of a young man standing at a window. The location this time is the family residence from 1868 to 1879 on the corner of the Rue de Lisbonne, and the young man is the artist's brother. But the painting was too realistic for Emile Zola, who regarded it as anti-artistic and bourgeois, believing that reality 'which is not enhanced with the original imprint of artistic talent, is a pitiable thing'. Despite being a great writer and a friend of many artists, Zola also has the uncanny knack of annoying one or two - Paul Cézanne in particular!

C'est la vie, quoi !

Jeune homme à la fenêtre (1875)

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