Thursday, February 18, 2016

Belle Époque Artists: Gustave Caillebotte

Paris Street, Rainy Day, 1877

Gustave Caillebotte (19 August 1848 – 21 February 1894) was a French painter, member and patron of the group of artists known as Impressionists, though he painted in a much more realistic manner than many other artists in the group. Caillebotte was noted for his early interest in photography as an art form. Caillebotte's style belongs to the School of Realism but was strongly influenced by his Impressionist associates.

Caillebotte is best known for his paintings of urban Paris, such as The Europe Bridge (Le Pont de l'Europe) (1876), and Paris Street; Rainy Day (Rue de Paris; temps de pluie, also known as La Place de l'Europe, temps de pluie) (1877). The latter is almost unique among his works for its particularly flat colors and photo-realistic effect which gives the painting its distinctive and modern look, almost akin to American Realists. Showing little allegiance to any one style, many of Caillebotte's other urban paintings produced in the same period, such as The Place Saint-Augustin (1877), are considerably more impressionistic.

Le Pont de l'Europe, 1876

My Note:
Gustave Caillebotte's paintings are not new to me... well, several of them, at least. Apparently, Oxford World's Classics used at least three of them as covers for Emile Zola's books. The "Paris Street, Rainy Day" was used for The Kill's cover, while "Le Pont de l'Europe" was actually picked by OWC as the cover of La Bête Humaine. And if you own the latest edition of The Money from OWC, you will not  be surprised to see that its cover was borrowed from Caillebotte's "Man on a Balcony". To me it's really nice of OWC to pick French Impressionist's paintings as Zola's book cover. Zola was one of the supporters of Impressionism on his era anyway.

Man on a Balcony, Boulevard Haussmann, 1880

A Balcony, Boulevard Haussmann, 1880

I posted this for my Belle Époque Event 2016, You will find more artists along the year; the next one will be up in March!

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