Musée d'Orsay: Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)

Gustave CaillebotteThe Floor Scrapers© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
After beginning under the auspices of the very academic Léon Bonnat, Gustave Caillebotte seems to have been struck by the first exhibition of the impressionist group in 1874. Two years later, he took part in the second exhibition of the group with eight paintings, including the remarkable Planing the Floor (The Floor Scrapers).

Caillebotte's modernity appeared more in his choice of subjects borrowed from contemporary life in Paris, in Yerres and in the Petit Gennevilliers than in his technique. Paris boulevards seen from a balcony, intimate portraits, landscapes of the Paris surroundings, still lives submitted to the dynamics of bold centering and unexpected viewpoints that account for this artist's originality.

Caillebotte is above all remembered for his donation, through the bequest highly publicised in 1894, of a magnificent collection of works by impressionists, forty of which were put aside for public collections and are now in the Musée d'Orsay.

The hundredth anniversary of his death was therefore an opportunity to present his ill-known work through a selection of 89 paintings and 28 drawings and, in particular, his large paintings recalling modern Paris : Rue de Paris : Rainy Weather in 1877 and the Pont de l'Europe in 1876.


Anne Distel, chief curator, Musée d'Orsay, Douglas W . Druick, Searle Curator of European Painting Prince Trust, curator of Prints and Drawings, Art Institute of Chicago, Gloria Groom, Assistant Curator of European painting, Art Institute of Chicago and Rodolphe Rapetti, curator, Musée d'Orsay


Exhibition catalogue
Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist
Distel Anne
Abbeville Press

16 September 1994 - 9 January 1995

Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais

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