Gustave Caillebotte: 12 works

A slideshow of artworks auto-selected from multiple collections

By Google Arts & Culture

Boat Moored on the Seine at Argenteuil (Bateau au mouillage sur la Seine, à Argenteuil) (ca. 1884) by Gustave CaillebotteThe Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

'Gustave Caillebotte was of crucial importance to the Impressionists as a collector, but he was also a major painter in his own right. From the early 1880s, he increasingly painted outdoors, producing some 35 paintings of sailboats on the river Seine.'

The Floor Planers (1875) by Gustave CaillebotteMusée d’Orsay, Paris

'Unlike Courbet or Millet, Caillebotte does not incorporate any social, moralising or political message in his work. His thorough documentary study (gestures, tools, accessories) justifies his position among the most accomplished realists.'

Paris Street; Rainy Day (1877) by Gustave Caillebotte (French, 1848–1894)The Art Institute of Chicago

'In his masterpiece, "Paris Street; Rainy Day," Gustave Caillebotte brought an unusual monumentality and compositional control to a typical Impressionist subject, the new boulevards that were changing the Paris cityscape.'

On the Pont de l’Europe (1876–77) by Gustave CaillebotteKimbell Art Museum

'Although his closest artist friends were Monet and Renoir, the key advocates for loose brushwork and bright color, Caillebotte preferred the sort of conventional draftsmanship and unaffected urban subjects dear to their fellow Impressionist Degas. Like Degas, he limited himself to strictly subdued visual means, and On the Pont de l'Europe is virtually monochromatic, the pervasive blue tones corresponding in visual terms to the chilling cold in which the figures stand.'

The Orange Trees (1878) by Gustave CaillebotteThe Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

'With brilliant hues of reds, greens, purples, and yellows, laid down in the flickering brushwork typical of Impressionism, Gustave Caillebotte has captured the decidedly modern theme of refined leisure activities. In The Orange Trees, Caillebotte's brother Martial and their young cousin Zoe, both elegantly dressed, relax in the park-like garden of the family villa at Yerres, just outside of Paris.'

Rooftops in the Snow (snow effect) (1878) by Gustave CaillebotteMusée d’Orsay, Paris

'By thus turning his attention to the effect of the seasons on light and landscape, Caillebotte joined his Impressionist friends Monet, Sisley and Pissarro.Given to the French National Museum by the artist's brother at the same time as the famous Floor Planers, Rooftops in the Snow is one of the rare paintings by Caillebotte known to the public for a long time, the main part of his oeuvre having stayed in his family for several decades.'

View from a balcony (1880) by Gustave Caillebotte

'Like his contemporaries Edgar Degas and Vincent van Gogh, Caillebotte was fascinated by the surprising Japanese compositions and incorporated their distinctive visual elements in his own work.'

Fruit Displayed on a Stand (about 1881 - 1882) by Gustave CaillebotteMuseum of Fine Arts, Boston

'Caillebotte delighted in unusual vantage points and compositions.'

Henri Cordier (1883) by Gustave CaillebotteMusée d’Orsay, Paris

'We do not know how Caillebotte and Cordier came to meet, but they were certainly friends, although the artist never accepted commissions for portraits as he did not need to sell his paintings to live. Here, Caillebotte chooses to focus on Cordier's intellectual side.'

The plain of Gennevilliers, yellow fields ((1884)) by Gustave CaillebotteNational Gallery of Victoria

'Monet had painted a Plaine de Gennevilliers in 1877; this seems, however, a relatively conventional landscape vignette when compared to Caillebotte's radically abstracted compositions of 1884, with their remarkably simplified chromatic translations of the vegetable fields. As Kirk Varnedoe has noted (Gustave Caillebotte, A Retrospective Exhibition, Houston, 1976, p. 170), the classic feeling for organisation and structure, so familiar from Caillebotte's celebrated urban scenes, is also present in these six Gennevilliers landscapes, in a severely reductive manner.'

Nude on a Couch (c. 1880) by Gustave CaillebotteMinneapolis Institute of Art

'This picture belongs with a group of studies of male and female nudes painted by Caillebotte about 1880.'

Sailing Boats at Argenteuil (circa 1888) by Gustave CaillebotteMusée d’Orsay, Paris

'In 1881, he bought a house in Petit-Gennevilliers, across the Seine from Argenteuil, where the elegant yacht club, the Cercle de la Voile de Paris, had its moorings. Shortly afterwards, this house became his main residence.'

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