About the Exhibition
More than 50 of Gustave Caillebotte’s strongest paintings illustrate the fertile period from 1875 to the mid-1880s when he was most closely allied with the impressionists. On view from June 28 through October 4, 2015, the National Gallery of Art’s major exhibition explores the inquisitive, experimental, and almost fearless vision that inspired the masterworks of this still relatively unknown artist.
Mary Morton and George T. M. Shackelford
Stripped of romantic ideals and heroic myths, the singular works that Gustave Caillebotte (1848–1894) produced are staggering in their originality and modernity. His deeply personal vision reveals his commitment, his intelligence and thoughtfulness, and his considerable skill as a painter. From the moment of his debut with the impressionists, he set himself apart, while his dynamic relationship with them lent his work a certain tension, an edge. His greatest work—paintings such as On the Pont de l’Europe—emerged when he steered a course between the two competing forces of Degas and Monet. And his modern aesthetic is fully realized in the iconic Paris Street, Rainy Day, whose recent restoration has heightened interest in his entire oeuvre.
Criticized—and praised—for being too realistic and not impressionistic enough, this somewhat eccentric artist was a pioneer in adopting the angled perspective of a modern camera to compose scenes whose effects are often described as arresting, even cinematic. Offering critical insights into the culture that produced the artist—he grew up amid the destruction and construction of a city under-going modernization—essays delve into Caillebotte’s inspirations, literary and social milieu, identity, and critical reception. Sumptuously illustrated, this exhibition catalog not only brings this artist into sharper focus, deepening our understanding of the history of impressionism, but also positions him more firmly within the pantheon of French avant-garde painters.
- Available in softcover and hardcover
- 9.75 in x 12 inches
- 284 pages, 177 illustrations
- Published: 2015