Gustave Caillebotte

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Gustave Caillebotte was an artist distinguishable from his impressionist colleagues as he could freely move back and forth between impressionistic and academic art style in the ingenious mathematical design and arrangement of the modern capital Paris in his painting “Rue de Paris; Temps de Pluie”. The painting also known as “Paris Street; Rainy Day” was begun in 1876 and finished early in 1877. Currently displayed in the Art Institute of Chicago, the monumental sized painting with dimensions 109m x 300cm depicts the intersection of the rue de Moscou and the rue de Turin, on the rue de Leningrad from Saint-Lazare Station at its southwest end to the Place Clichy. The street was located in what was called the New Paris, or the modern capital of Europe. The original streets, buildings, and the services that can be seen in the painting had all been built during the artist’s own lifetime. Although considered a highly engaged Impressionist during the late 19th century, Gustave Caillebotte was different from other Impressionist artists. Unlike most of his colleagues, Caillebotte was young and wealthy. When the Impressionism movement began during the 1970s, Caillebotte had just turned 30 but was still a generous patron of the Impressionist artwork. He was the son of a wealthy textile manufacturer and was able to paint for pleasure than for sales. He is known to be more of a collector of his colleagues’ paintings than a painter himself. His painting style was also differentiable from his colleagues in that he was an Impressionist who drew in realistic or academic manner. One critic of his 1877 exhibition commented Caillebotte to be “an Impressionist in name only,” and that “Caillebotte knows how to draw and paint more seriously.”
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