Gustave Caillebotte


Caillebotte, 1878

Hello guys! This week I wanted to talk about an impressionist artist called Gustave Caillebotte. Gustave was a french artist, who was fascinated by the growing urbanization and industrialization of the modern world. What’s great about him, I think, is that he’s considered to be an impressionist and yet his work is actually in the category of realism. Realism is the movement after Romanticism that concentrated on the beauty of current, everyday life. For instance, rather than having idealistic paintings, you could see a painting of someone walking down a street, which we see with Gustave. Also, his work does presents some hazy or more imaginative qualities that impressionists had, but a majority of his work is realistic.


One of his best known works is Paris Street, Rainy Day created in 1877.


Gustave created this piece as young as twenty-nine years old. Many critics who saw this at the 1877 exhibition (with five other works he did) believed that this was as good as a photography, especially because of the way Gustave was able to make the figures in the foreground sharp and clear. Then in the background, the figures and buildings get more hazy. In general, this seems like a snapshot of a time and place. I think Gustave eloquently depicts the daily life of the time. Everyone was in their own zone, minding their business, and walking through the streets.

A second work that I really like is the Les raboteurs de parquet / Floor Planers created in 1875.


When I first saw this piece, I felt as though I was in the room and observing the men work. Gustave does a unique thing that makes the viewers feel in the work. Here, Gustave has painted peasants/county workers working on a floor board. He doesn’t include any significant meaning or message; instead, he is just focusing on the figures and the background.

Here I’m going to include a video based on Gustave’s Paris Street, rainy Day painting that goes into detail about the work, the time period, and the 1877 exhibition. Enjoy!

Feature Image is Gustave’s Portraits à la campagne created in 1876

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