Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)

Gustave Caillebotte was a French painter, art collector and impresario who uniquely comined the Academic and Impressionistic styles to create his own style. An artist of remarkable ability, Caillebotte paintings featured figure studies, rural landscapes and scenes of boating, floral arrangements and of Paris.

Born into a well-to-do Parisian family, Caillebotte holidayed with his family at their country estate, where he spent his summers painting and drawing. Many of Caillebotte s paintings are of his family and their daily life. Caillebotte pursued a career in law and shortly after receiving his degree he was drafted to fight in the Franco-Prussian war. After the war, Caillebotte began to seriously study painting.

Caillebotte paintings depicted reality as he saw it with little emphasis on theatrics. Sharing the Impressionistic devotion to optical truth, Caillebotte painted several domestic family scenes, indoors and out, but he is most well known for his paintings of urban Paris. These paintings, such as Rue de Paris; Temps de Pluie, were initially considered bland and profane for Caillebotte s depiction of lower-class Parisians and exaggerated perspectives.

Caillebotte slowed his painting output in the 1890s, choosing to devote himself to other hobbies, such as gardening and yacht racing. Upon his death, Caillebotte bequeathed his vast collection of paintings to the French government. This collection included 68 paintings by Impressionists and other artists not yet appreciated by the art community, including Camille Pissaro, Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir, Alfred Sisely, Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, and Edouard Manet.


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