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Artists Gustave Caillebotte
Gustave Caillebotte Photo

Gustave Caillebotte

French Painter

Movements and Styles: Realism, Impressionism

Born: August 19, 1848 - Paris, France

Died: February 21, 1894 - Gennevilliers, France

Gustave Caillebotte Timeline

Quotes

"I finally bought, after the stories I have told you, the land next to mine. I have built a workshop and I have no other home than Petit-Gennevilliers."
Gustave Caillebotte in a letter to Monet
"would have benefited from the same turn of fortune as us ... he was still only at the beginning of his career."
Monet said that with more time, Caillebotte
"Caillebotte showed The Floor Scrapers and A Young Man at His Window, paintings done in astonishingly high relief. But because of their precision, the paintings are entirely anti-artistic, clear as glass, bourgeois. The mere photography of reality is paltry when not enriched by the original stamp of artistic talent."
Émile Zola
"Finally, I shall name M. Caillebotte, a young painter of the finest courage, who does not retreat before modern life-size subjects. His Rue de Paris in Rainy Weather shows passers-by, especially a gentleman and a lady in the foreground... with beautiful truth. When his talent is somewhat relaxed, M. Caillebotte will certainly be one of the boldest of the group."
Émile Zola
"I would better have liked to have Caillebotte [exhibit] than Messieurs Guillaumin, Vignon and Gauguin put together."
Paul Durand-Ruel

"The very great artists attach you even more to life."

Gustave Caillebotte Signature

Synopsis

Even up to the 1950s, Gustave Caillebotte was relatively unknown despite achieving much in Paris during the reign of the Impressionists. Like many of his fellow avant-garde artists, he was fascinated by the impact of industrialization and modernization on the city of Paris and its inhabitants. While he is classified as an Impressionist, the paintings that are considered by most to be his masterpieces actually fall more into the category of Realism, like the work of his predecessors, Millet and Courbet, and even Degas or Monet's earlier work. Individual paintings in his oeuvre frequently feature the distinctive, loose brushwork and lighter palette of the Impressionist style, but the paintings for which he is best known are large-scale, precise "evocations of photographic naturalism," as one contemporary critic put it, although at the time the comment was meant to be taken pejoratively. Ultimately, what he had most in common with his Impressionist colleagues was his choice of subject matter: he depicted themes from everyday life rather than those favored by formally trained, academic painters.

Key Ideas

Caillebotte was an enthusiastic collector of photographs as were some of the other artists in the Impressionist group - Degas most of all. In both artists' work you can easily identify some of the major formal characteristics that borrow from photography. Foremost is the often radical cropping of a portion of a painting, drawing, or print, imitative of the way the camera lens cuts off the edges of a given view. There is evidence that he used photographs produced by his brother, Martial, an accomplished photographer who did not receive much recognition for his work, as references and probably direct guides for some of his compositions.
Like many of his Impressionist and Post-Impressionist colleagues, Caillebotte was influenced by Japanese art, especially printmaking. Prints, particularly those from the Edo period in Japan, provided these artists with thematic inspiration as they typically captured scenes from daily life. Their formal influence was even more pronounced and, in the work of Caillebotte, one can detect it in the often extremely tilted ground of a work and the frequent high vantage points, both major visual traits of Japanese prints.
For decades after his death, Caillebotte was better known as a major source of financial support and patronage of a number of his artist colleagues, including his close friends Renoir and Monet, as well as Manet and Pissarro.
For decades after his death, Caillebotte was better known as an important donor to the French State of a collection of important Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works in addition to bequeathing a large number of his own paintings. In fact, the bequest specified that the works should be displayed in the Luxembourg Museum and later in the Louvre Museum - which was somewhat problematic at the time as his art was still not accepted widely by the mainstream artistic establishment.

Biography

Gustave Caillebotte Photo

Childhood and Education

Gustave Caillebotte was born into a wealthy Parisian family on August 19, 1848. The family lived in Paris on the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis. Martial Caillebotte, his father, had inherited his family's military textile business. Additionally, the elder Caillebotte was a judge at the Tribunal de commerce in the Seine department. He had already been widowed twice by the time he married his third wife and Gustave's mother, Celeste Daufresne. The eldest of her three children with Martial, Gustave had two younger brothers, Rene and Martial.

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Gustave Caillebotte Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Gustave Caillebotte
Interactive chart with Gustave Caillebotte's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Honoré DaumierHonoré Daumier
Édouard ManetÉdouard Manet
Gustave CourbetGustave Courbet
Jean-François MilletJean-François Millet

Personal Contacts

Claude MonetClaude Monet
Pierre-Auguste RenoirPierre-Auguste Renoir

Movements

RealismRealism
ImpressionismImpressionism

Influences on Artist
Gustave Caillebotte
Gustave Caillebotte
Years Worked: 1875 - 1894
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Georges SeuratGeorges Seurat
Vincent van GoghVincent van Gogh
Paul CézannePaul Cézanne
Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso

Personal Contacts

Claude MonetClaude Monet
Pierre-Auguste RenoirPierre-Auguste Renoir

Movements

Post-ImpressionismPost-Impressionism
PointillismPointillism
CubismCubism
SurrealismSurrealism
PhotorealismPhotorealism

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