Paris Street: Rainy Day Art
: Gustave Caillebotte : 1877
Why is this picture so attractive? Because the people are well dressed? Because it’s Paris? Because you can see the wet on the cobblestones?
SummaryThis work is featured in the online catalog Caillebotte Paintings and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. This is the museum’s third volume in its scholarly digital series on the Impressionist circle. This catalog offers in-depth curatorial and technical entries on the five works of art by Gustave Caillebotte in the museum’s collection. The entries feature interactive and layered high-resolution imaging, videos, and previously unpublished technical photographs in addition to archival materials and documentation relating to each artwork.
In his masterpiece, Paris Street; Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte brought an unusual monumentality and compositional control to a typical Impressionist subject, the new boulevards that were changing the Paris cityscape. The result is at once real and contrived, casual and choreographed. With its curiously detached figures, the canvas depicts the anonymity that the boulevards seemed to create. By the time it appeared in the third Impressionist exhibition, held in April 1877, the artist was 29 years old, a man of considerable wealth, and not only the youngest but also the most active member of the Impressionist group.
He contributed six of his own canvases to the exhibition; played a leading part in its funding, organization, promotion, and installation; and lent a number of paintings by his colleagues that he owned.