Artist Review: Gustave Caillebotte


G Caillebotte Paris Rainy Day
La Place de l'Europe, temps de pluie (1877)
Art Institute of Chicago

Today while going through this week's Economist issue I read an article in the Books and Arts section about an exhibit in Paris on Gustave Caillebotte's paintings and his brother's photography.

This article got me thinking about his paintings and how much I like his work. There is something quiet and thoughtful in his compositions, how he organizes the picture frame and uses perspective to guide the viewers eye. I also admire his use of color and tone.

I feel that some of his most influential paintings are the ones that are predominantly made up of grays and earth tones, with only the slightest hints of saturated color.

G Caillebotte rooftops under snow
Vue toits, effet de neige (1878)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

G Caillebotte Le pont de europe
Le pont de l'Europe (1876)
Petit Palais, Geneva

G Caillebotte Floor Scrapers
Les raboteurs de parquet (The Floor Scrapers), (1875)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

However proficient he was with using muted colors and values to present a sense of space, Caillebotte was also an Impressionist in how he could also use vivid color, such as his painting of a fruit stand.

G Caillebotte fruit display
Fruits sur un étalage (1882)
Museum of Fine Art, Boston

For more information and images of his work:

And the Art Institute of Chicago has Paris Street; Rainy Day in their collection and seeing this painting in person was the highlight of my visit to Chicago several years ago!